I think there is something healing and rejuvenating that comes from the holidays. I love how my mom has created and carried on so many sweet traditions in our family. Taking a break from the busyness and slowing down to enjoy those that we are most thankful for is comfort to our souls.
I love our family Thanksgivings. I love that everyone is responsible for the same things every year. My mom prepares the turkey and dressing and basically just tries to keep the kitchen somewhat orderly while my dad morphs into master chef. I will give him credit, he has talent in the kitchen, but cleaning as he goes is not his strong point. My dad is always in charge of the gravy and no one makes better gravy than Tom. My grandma makes at least eight homemade pies. She is sure that everyone has their favorite, and most of the time, they all make it to the house. I say that because a couple of years ago, one ended up in the grass outside of our house. We all laughed… and cried a little on the inside. My amazing aunts fill in the sides and they have all mastered their dish. My mom’s entire serving counter is packed meticulously to make sure every dish fits. I can close my eyes and picture it!
After meal time and meaningful conversations, my mom covers her dining room table with a tablecloth and we break out the crafts. Most of the time, we paint Christmas ornaments and assemble gingerbread houses… and most of the time, we laugh at our finished products.
As our family grows, traditions adjust, but the sweetest tradition is just being together.
Last year, I went to Monroe, Georgia with my husband’s family. I love becoming acquainted with his family and their traditions. I recognized that it doesn’t matter where you are or what food you eat (or even some times what food you burn or drop on the way into the house), family gatherings are beautiful, unique and never to be taken for granted.
My little family has adopted our own Thanksgiving traditions. One that I have really enjoyed is our Thanksgiving tree. I’m normally pretty strict about waiting until AFTER Thanksgiving to celebrate Christmas, but I do make an exception for one of our trees. It is our Give Thanks Tree and it has become such a meaningful part of our holiday. We write down what we are thankful for and hang it on the tree in our dining room. It does my heart and soul good to remind myself of all the ways God has blessed me. I cannot walk by it without thanking Him. My cup surely runneth over.
I hope you enjoy your family traditions this year, and remember — it is never too late to start some that will make a lifetime of memories.