This year is somewhat unique for my family. My sister has a newborn. One that we all love and adore, but his first weeks of life have not been easy, most especially for my sister. My grandmother spent time in the hospital two weeks ago after having two small strokes. She is now doing rehabilitation and physical therapy, but isn’t feeling up to coming to dinner. Two weeks ago I also returned to work part time. I don’t know if it is permanent or temporary, but I know that it has already been taking a toll on me and my family.

It feels like the Christmas rush has hit early this year so Thanksgiving was beginning to feel like just one more stressor. So we decided to take things easier this year.

My mom ordered most of Thanksgiving dinner catered from Wegman’s (a local grocery store chain). Yes, it is more expensive. But it will also be easier. We are still filling in with a couple of sides and buying or making our own desserts. (The apple pie will be homemade. The pumpkin and pecan are coming from Sam’s Club.) For the first time we’ll be using fancy paper products instead of fancy china.

No, this is not the cheapest or healthiest Thanksgiving we’ve ever had. It isn’t organic or free range. We won’t be winning any awards for most decorative holiday table. But we will, most of us at least, be together. Honestly, while I love Thanksgiving food, it’s more about the people. Yes, I live near my family and we see each other almost weekly. But we don’t always take the time to be together, away from work, and other interruptions. (My dad is a pastor so Sunday dinner is often interrupted or delayed by church business). It’s a time to come together as a family and be grateful for all we have been blessed with, including each other. What we eat and where it comes from doesn’t really matter.

We will be gathering together today.
7 adults: my parents, my husband and myself, my sister, brother-in-law and his mother.
4 children: a preschooler, 2 toddlers and a newborn.

We’ll talk, eat, hopefully laugh and play; and be thankful.

Wherever you are and whoever you are with today, I hope you take the time to be grateful, even if your holiday isn’t being celebrated in the traditional manner or look like you expected.