November has arrived in all its cool, colorful splendor and that means the holiday season is here. We have a short three weeks until Thanksgiving and only a few more than that until Christmas. For some of you, this gets your motor running, but for others, this creates all kinds of anxiety. For those of you in the anxious column, you are my people! So, let’s talk about a few important things we need to get on the table, so to speak, in order to make it through the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday with gratitude and peace.
It’s okay if there’s dust on the baseboards. It really is. It’s also okay if you don’t have time to wipe out the fridge, polish the silver, or pressure wash the driveway. And no worries if you don’t get the leaves up or the cobwebs down. I’m not sure I believe that no one will notice but you, but truly if they do notice, I ‘m convinced that no one will care. I’m convinced we should just do our best up to the point of yelling at the husband and kids, and then let it go. A friend of mine recently told me his mother-in-law yelled at him for doing the dishes wrong. Ladies, we simply must do better. We simply must let go of the details that don’t matter and focus on the people that do.
It’s okay if your nails are not done. It really is. No worries if your outfit isn’t trendy and new, your hair doesn’t have fresh color, or you didn’t lose those pesky five pounds. Most of us aren’t perfectly coiffed, and if you’re not, I promise you’re more lovable as a result.
It’s okay to share the responsibility. It really is. This one is tough, tough, tough. We all have our favorite Thanksgiving foods, usually the ones our mothers served us when we were young. But as perfectly delicious as those dishes were, as our families grow, we need to be open to other people’s preferences. Maybe you had mashed potatoes or mac & cheese and I had rice. Maybe you had homemade cranberry sauce (you win) and I had it straight from the can (I did and it was fabulous). Maybe you had ham and cornbread dressing and I had turkey and stuffing. Okay, now I’m getting hungry. But you get the point. Everybody is different and everybody has different opinions about how it should be. So graciously allow people to bring their favorites to the table. I assure you, your table will be richer for it.
It’s okay if the numbers change. This one makes me sad because every year the group will inevitably look a little different from the way it did the year before. People get married, have kids, and sadly, pass away. While adding to the group is joyous, losing people from the group hurts. This is all the more reason to take time to cherish each and every person at the table each and every year.
It’s okay if traditions change. With time, traditions will inevitably need to be tweaked. The crowd gets too large or the crowd shrinks. The hostess grows too old to host. People move and so must the venue. And that’s okay. Go with it, it will not change the celebration. It’s like moving to a new home: the house is not the family, the people are the family.
It’s okay if you burn the rolls. It’s also okay if the green beans are over salted, the turkey is dry, or the pecan pie is runny. It’s okay if the “tablescape” is a mess. It’s okay, it’s okay, it is okay. Remember, we will be gathering together to ask the Lord’s blessing and to give thanks to Him for all of the many, many things for which we have to be thankful. We will be gathering together to enjoy one another. And most of all, we will be gathering together for the sake of love. So let’s do just that: focus on giving thanks to God, and focus on loving one another. If we do, everything else will be fine, even if it isn’t perfectly perfect.
And as for those burned rolls…we didn’t need the carbs anyway.