my thanksgiving







I've been trying to figure out a way to tell my thanksgiving day story without all the pretty pictures that take me a ton of effort to create.  There are none of those.  But instead I think I'll tell you how my actual day went.

We decided just a few days before thanksgiving that the family would meet at my oldest son's home at 2pm for dinner.  I was relieved to not be hosting this year for a variety of reasons but I felt sorry for them as between the 2 of them they have 5 children and often have 2 more little cousins at their home.  7 kids with both parents working full time no less.  So dinner for 20 or so.

There was the usual dysfunctional cast of characters, including 1 perfectionist (me), a sweet holy roller, an atheist, a critic, 4 world class passive aggressives, 1 control freak (hello, me again), 3 recovering addicts and one still wrestling with recovery. Quite the ensemble.

But you know what?  It was fine.  Weeks of pre-worry which transferred into present day worry was a waste of time as usual.  No one killed anyone, no one judged and no harsh words were spoken. We were all kind to each other and accepted each other exactly where we are in each of our journeys.  The children were adorable. An older married couple kissed for the first time in years, I'm sure because of the lightness of the day. Young couples held hands and we all said grace.  The food was excellent and the house was immaculate but that was never the point. The point always was and will always be love.  xo




65 comments

  1. Replies
    1. thank you uptown for always leaving such positive comments throughout these years! xo

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  2. Beautiful Thanksgiving story, without the photos! I always enjoy your posts.

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  3. Ahhh...A ceasefire on Thanksgiving (and other family gathering days) is always the best practice. :)

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    1. ceasefires are always a good idea. no one here is warring against each other, it's more like wars with ourselves:) xo

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  4. Replies
    1. thank you so much. i am, i just have to remember that. xo

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  5. I love this. Sadly our family went different ways this year. Mainly because we are so far away. I'm praying that Christmas will prove to be lovely with everyone on their best behavior. ❤️

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    1. i hope your family can get together at christmas. i'm always praying for best behavior too.:) xo

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  6. LOVE YOUR TALE...................sounds like BLISS!

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  7. Just how it is and how you would wish it. The true spirit of thanksgiving. Lovely post, Janet.
    Coincidentally, this evening the BBC showed a programme on the first pilgrims. Their lives before, during and to 30 years after the journey, based on the writings of Bradford. I knew so little about this before but I was humbled. I now understand so much more about your thanksgiving and it's wonderful that the memory, meaning and spirit is respected and held precious each year.
    Happy belated thanksgiving to you and your readers in America.
    PP x.

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    1. thank you mary. i'm not familiar with the writings of bradford, must look them up.thank you for sharing that. xo

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  8. Dear Janet,
    before reading a single word of your posting, I just sat and looked at the photo. It's all there, in the picture. The richness, all the differences and still a present moment bursting with love ... for life. I better shut up before this gets ... too esoteric?! ;-)

    greetings from a 1a-worryied and nonetheless truly happy perfectionist,
    Paula

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    1. aww thank you paula. that is the road that leads to our home. it takes my breath away every time i drive it.:) thank you for your readership all these years! xo

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  9. Thanks for your honesty. I appreciate your telling that it wasn't all wonderful perfection . . . and yet, it was good. I need a constant reminder that weeks of worry does no good - thank you for that as well.

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    1. you are welcome jeanine. i could write a book on worry - such a useless emotion but one that gets me too much of the time. xo

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  10. I loved this. Thanks for sharing.

    Rondi

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  11. Lovely post...so happy to read of a non-judgemental, "take me as I am"- family !

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    1. thank you patricia. we haven't always been this way. it's been a vv long road with lots of mistakes made but we are getting better. xo

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  12. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story.....

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  13. perfectionism and holidays certainly do not go together! No one has ever had a perfect holiday even though we all have breakdowns trying to make it that way. I'm so glad it went well this year and that you were able to be a guest! I thought for sure you'd end up hosting just because that seems to be the mother's plight. So congratulations to your son on hosting! Just keep your eye on the prize...the despair of self improvement and your beloved January is almost here :)

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  14. You are such a lovely writer. Thank you.

    "The point always was and will always be love."

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    1. what a very sweet and generous comment lisa! xo

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  15. thanks for yet another great reminder of the bounty we have in our lives if we stop and recognise it

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    1. you are welcome amanda. i have to stop and force myself to see it too. :) xo

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  16. Success!

    Isn't it amazing we still actually keep one day a year designated to being thankful? Little did the original people know that event would represent a time of thanks, gratefulnessl and peace for an entire country for years. That's a miracle when you think about it.

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  17. I haven't yet read all of your reader comments but I'll say off the top that I think this is absolutely the best post you've ever written on your blog, Janet. I'm so glad you had a nice Thanksgiving. It sounds like warmth and love is still very much in your 'being' even three days later.

    Strange to say, but the nicest thing for me over the 4-day weekend? That little rain, framed by two nights of dipping temps, was followed by a powdered-sugar dusting of snow on our local mountains, and that's a sight I've not seen in November for a long time in my part of Southern California. It was so beautiful, that fleeting glimpse of white when the clouds parted in the sunshine for mere minutes...heaven-sent...

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    1. vicki you are incredibly kind. i'm humbled by your comment. i was speaking from my heart.:) ahhhhhh that rain was heavenly! xo

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  18. Janet I think that Families are always interesting...
    a variety of personalities that gather at the table for family feasts do not always agree or see eye to eye, many are disruptive and others seeks to shock by acting out...some numb themselves with alcohol and drugs.

    I know we can choose our friends but we have little choice when gathering with relatives.
    I take deep breaths and hope for the best...
    Your family sounds like a "normal clan"....

    BTW I am the one with Control Issues...and everyone knows it!
    Thank you for sharing your honest real American Thanksgiving with your multitude of readers.
    XO

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    1. leslie, deep breathing is so essential. i find myself holding my breath and that cannot be a good thing. i think most bloggers would have to admit to being somewhat controlling don't you think? xo

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    2. I think I'd have to agree with you...I have had some nasty comments that were so profane and rude that I could not publish them so now all the comments have to be moderated which looks like I'm in control!
      Deep breathing is what my Yoga instructor insists on at class....it is so surprising how we just take a wee breath when we are stressed...and holding the breath just waiting for that proverbial pin to drop or an outburst just seems to add to my stress level...no wonder sometimes my shoulders are often up to my ears!

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  19. Beautiful, Janet. Love is what it's all about.

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  20. Perfect day Janet and I love a group which includes lots of kids, they must have been so cute. It's all about love, so beautifully written. xx

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    1. the kids were great, which isn't always the case! lol they were super sweet and non confrontational that day! xo

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  21. "Be kind for everyone is fighting a hard battle." Isn't that so very true?
    Have a fine day, dear Janet!
    Tanja

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    1. yes, tanja, that is so true. the first time i read that quote it stopped me in my tracks bc you just never know what's going on inside...xo

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  22. Janet, when I first read your comment I started to think uh oh what drama went down? So glad to hear everything went smoothly after all! I did have to laugh at how you pointed out that you are a perfectionist and control freak...we have more in common than I thought!

    We had a small & intimate rainy Thanksgiving dinner (on Sat.) just the four of us. Amanda brought a Gardein Stuffed "Turkey" for herself...have you seen them? I had a taste and it wasn't bad!

    Have a great week Janet!

    Linda
    xo

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    1. your day sounds lovely linda. wasn't that rain so wonderful?! xo

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  23. this probably describes many families at thanksgiving dinner! it is all about love and being together because in the end it is the people that really matter most.

    Laura

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    1. it is laura. i have to admit that it wasn't always this way with me. i've come to learn acceptance which is a v v hard concept when what you are accepting isn't what you want. i have faith in God and the universe that things will work out the way they are supposed to. xo

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    2. ...yes Janet things will work out the way they are suppose to....we truly do not have much control over anything...in our youth we think we do but as we age we learn we are not in control of much. Maybe some things that pertain to us directly and certainly how we choose to process things which sometimes makes the difference in how we feel when things aren't what we want or expect them to be. I recently wrote down two quotes that spoke to me: 1. "The most important decision we make is whether to believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe." Change the way you look at life and watch it magically change for you. All you have is the present moment. Albert Einstein. 2. "If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the moment." Ancient Philospher Lao Tzu - I like to think I have always chose to believe we live in a friendly universe and I do try all the time to stay in the moment because I know nothing else is promised.

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    3. Thank you for those most helpful quotes.

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  24. Beautifully written! No pictures necessary, though the one you posted is quite nice. Happy Thanksgiving and merry Christmas.
    Claudia

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  25. I love your pictures, but your words you wrote told a beautiful story.

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  26. I honesty don't know a family that doesn't have a touch of dysfunction, and it is surely apparent with gatherings, like the holidays. It's so nice that despite your differences with your family, your hearts are still aligned.
    Love you Janet!

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  27. That sounds perfectly imperfect. :)

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  28. oh dear Janet....this is so beautiful! And I adore the way you tell a story. xx

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  29. Where do I soulfully start? All I can say is these authentic words ring true in our own families, yet many and most don't speak of it or want to even write about it. Your words touch the edge of my soul. As for your being a perfectionist, and a control freak? I smiled and related (me as well ) and often known as the problem solver.

    This foto was perfectly fitting, your storytelling need not a table set with the turkey and trimmings, pass the mash potatoes please!! .... I did not need to see a family group foto, or dishes piled in the sink to know this family gathered to give thanks.

    Thank you Janet, for being so real.
    Blessed we are and touched by grace when one gets to know you.

    Xx
    Dore

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  30. Hi Janet, I so enjoy your blog and am thrilled when I see you've made a new post (even when it's a shopping receipt from the dollar store! LOL!! Guess that's a true fan!) Thank you for taking the time to share your tidbits of life to your reader's days. I've never had the nerve to comment but apropos of all this family conversation, I was wondering if you had ever heard the Kasey Musgraves song "Family is Family?"
    Here's the link:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6p5mfBHZuE
    I love it. Thought it would give you a giggle too.
    Yep, family SURE IS family!
    : )
    Cinzia

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  31. Beautiful post and so real. Mine didn't go so well. Firstly, I usurped my daughter's role and corrected the grandkids. Secondly, no word from my son who was too busy with his inlaws to remember me. So, glad you shared with us your perfectly imperfect Thanksgiving. We are not alone out here!!

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  32. Audrey Jackie Janet ... a perfect post! LOL! humor and heart and style. XO♥

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  33. So sweet! Always with the important and much appreciated perspective! Thank you for opening your heart to us!

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  34. I'm so glad you enjoyed the day! I love the way you write!

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  35. Janet,This post brought tears to my eyes. You have the gift of honesty with a gentleness and I find it refreshing.xo

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  36. Late to this post-Thanksgiving party, but it applies all year, doesn't it? As always, Janet, a wonderful perspective, and beautifully expressed. As Annette said above, gentle and honest, thank you for allowing us into your world. Hope all the people-filled days ahead are full of love and joy for you!

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kindness is never out of style.

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