That's right. Our Thanksgiving meal will not resemble that on the glossy pages of a magazine. There will be a tablecloth on the table and the requisite cloth napkins on the table, but since I always use cloth napkins, that's not a big deal. There will be matching plates on the table. There will be a beautifully sliced turkey, the Husband has a gift with that. We will have a bountiful feast, but I guarantee you that several of the children will turn up their noses at all but the dinner rolls and the cranberry jelly.
Our outfits will not match or even coordinate. There was a time when my kids had outfits for Thanksgiving, that has flown out the window to scratch in the dirt with the pardoned turkeys.
I grew up, I think I have mentioned, in a home where holidays were supposed to resemble glossy magazine pages. Inevitably, it was a time of stress and rigidity not a time of togetherness and fun.
Maybe one of the reasons I wanted a bunch of kids is so that I could have one of those crazy, hectic joy-filled holidays full of laughter and creativity and LOVE. I don't want magazine pictures but I guess I envisioned the Walton's or those holiday movies of my youth where the family gathered to play football in the yard and laughed together in the kitchen.
My vision was no more achievable than my mom's. As much as I would like to, I do not have the gentle, calm presence of Olivia Walton. My boys have yet to play a game of football in the backyard.
We have to find our own way to celebrate and enjoy each other and to be. It cannot be found in the pages of magazines or on our television screens. We cannot model our perfect life on things man-made.
Our life stretches out before us, our choices are our own. Our experiences are woven together into a beautiful tapestry. God created a plan and no matter which choices we make or what threads go next to each other, it can all be made into something beautiful.
So, if the house is still messy and the outfits don't match, if the kids bicker and we don't have a centerpiece on the table...we still have much to be thankful for. I am thankful for this crazy, stressful, imperfect life. It all works together for good. I am thankful for living and breathing and feeling, for loving and crying and laughing and just being.
Wishing you peace and contentment on this day where we remember that life on this land was fraught with struggles and adventures and that is why we celebrate thanksgiving...because those first givers of thanks recognized that life is hard and unpredictable and we should at all times and in all things...be thankful.