Monday, November 24, 2014

Giving Thanks

Based on the articles, advertisements, and photographs in fall magazines, on lifestyle blogs, and Pinterest, it seems there is an awful lot of pressure for an ideal Thanksgiving.

 


Picture the perfect Thanksgiving. And then picture mine. 

Coordinated place settings with handcrafted napkins rings and place card settings. 

My mother who is 80 is quick to remind us that she has been cooking her whole life, and she's tired of the routine. She shops for the paper plates (her favorites have divided sections), plastic utensils and paper napkins  As for place cards . . . well, surely we all know each other.  For seating, we battle it out, first come first serve.  The object is to make it to the adult table and not be stuck with the surly teenagers or the attention-seeking kids.

Gourmet menu featuring recipes from Bon Appetit. 

My extended family like the same foods year after year, and changes are not met with enthusiasm. Roasted turkey with gravy, cranberry sauce (the kind from a can - and not the whole berries), mashed potatoes and candied sweet potatoes (really, two kinds of potatoes are a must), stuffing, Lima beans, corn pudding, yeast rolls, and lots of pie - pumpkin, sweet potato, apple, mincemeat (Mom loves mincemeat though we have no idea what this actually is).

Artful decorations and table centerpieces. 

The table is usually full of food and we all like to get a good view of each other - no pesky flowers to lean around. No candles lit. My youngest nephew is very adventurous and likely to play with fire.

What our Thanksgiving lacks in presentation, it makes up for in heart.

There will be belts loosened after the meal, funny stories told, memories recalled, and grateful hearts shared.  We will say, "I love you," often. We'll hug. Cousins will re-connect. We'll take a picture with the three sisters (I'm the oldest), and my youngest sister will post this immediately on some form of social media.  Mom will complain about the mess and the work, but we know she wouldn't have it any other way. My middle sister will plan her Black Friday shopping, and we'll all bow to her as the shopping queen. No sooner the meal is cleared away, we'll whip out the Christmas decorations. We all work together to transform Mama's home - merry and bright.


I am giving thanks for this family I love.  I'll keep my camera at the ready.  I doubt my pictures will be artful or pretty, but they'll be a genuine reflection of my tribe on this Thanksgiving Day.


Thank you to Kim Klassen for her texture, simple, used on today's whimsical photos of vintage cameras.

26 comments:

  1. I loved reading this Donna, it made me smile......you're so right about the pressure to be "perfect". It's not going to happen here either, although I did print a free poster and put it in a frame ! On a side note, your Mom has good taste in liking the mincemeat. It is very popular in England , especially at Christmas, and is a sweet mixture of fruit and sugar ( and sometimes brandy ) I miss mince pies, although I don't miss the calories ! Enjoy your family time ! x

    ReplyDelete
  2. It sounds perfect! Happy Happy Thanksgiving Donna! and I am quite sure the photos will be pretty and artful : ) and I'll pass on the mincemeat, but load me up on that pumpkin pie!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh, how I love this post! I needed to laugh! Your "whimsical" photos are actually delightful! Your Thanksgiving is a lot like ours, minus the hugs (we aren't a huggy family). The menu is exactly the same except for green bean casserole instead of lima beans. My sister will whip the potatoes by hand and make the gravy, since no one else can do it. My mother made mincemeat pies for the holidays, which we regarded with deep suspicion. We will be so hungry before things are on the table, people will resort to snitching out of the pans.

    And I think Styrofoam plates are very sensible! Your mother has the right idea! The important thing is that we all sit down for a meal together (even firebugs). I'm taking my camera, too. And a better frame of mind, thanks to this post.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I had a huge smile the whole time I read your post! It's real and sounds so familiar to my own (which was in October). Thank you for the peek into your sacred space ... and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, Donna.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sound really nice and love the idea of transforming your Mom's home into Christmas, wish mine would. But then I wouldn't have the pleasure.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Pressure it really is a pain. We don't have 2 celebrations but Christmas is enough thank you the simpler the better more time to be with family... Love your words.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Love your camera collection...I'm sure there's more! :) A wonderful loving post for Thanksgiving! Screw perfection...the real life is the BEST! Have a wonderful time with your family!

    ReplyDelete
  8. It is just wonderful to read about your family Thanksgiving ...so down home and natural, and it is just like how I grew up. The kind of celebration you have will warm hearts forever. Our meal isn't even consisting of a turkey!! Gasp. Most of us prefer other meat. Love your old cameras, and love your autumn gather - Give Thanks!! Enjoy, Donna!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love your pairing of old cameras with fall animals and props - great duos! and your thanksgiving feast sounds perfect to me - tradition filled with family and fun...though we will have a wonderful meal here with friends, I do miss family this time of year...happy thanksgiving Donna!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amy, I'm sure that you treat everyone as family, and even more sure that your friends love you like family. Happy Thanksgiving, my artful friend. I am grateful for you - your generosity, your creative view, and your hands that make something out of both everything and nothing.

      Delete
  10. Love your use of the vintage camers Abdul the little squirrel. Your day sounds wonderful and you are so fortunate to still have your mom with you. Enjoy the day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheryl, Thanks so much for stopping by to visit. Yes, I am blessed to still have my mother in my life, and I will enjoy spending the day with her. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

      Delete
  11. Love your images! And your Thanksgiving sounds ideal to me--filled with family, tradition and love! And you can't pin any of that! Hope you have a very happy day.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Your Thanksgiving sounds picture perfect to me! I do love your vintage cameras and their little 'friends'. My Grandmother always loved mincemeat pie (I don't know what it is either:) and my mother would make one just for her. Grandma was the only one who would take a piece. Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love your images - those wonderful old cameras and props are fantastic! I so loved reading your post - found myself smiling and nodding my head in agreement.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I loved reading your post Donna! it's so funny and interesting to learn about your traditions in the US... yesterday I've heard a very interesting report on the radio about the origins of Thanksgiving and its traditions...
    I love your pictures too, which contain a good dose of humor and whim... you probably spent a funny time playing with your old cameras and little figurines... Happy Thanksgiving Donna, to you and your sisters and family!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wonderful. Happy Thanksgiving. My yard will be full of wild turkeys on Thanksgiving. I believe they are giving thanks for not being on my table and I am giving thanks for their being in my yard so I can enjoy them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Earl, Wild turkeys in your yard! What a beautiful sight that must be. I have pulled over on the side of the road several times attempting to take pictures of wild turkeys in my rural areas. But, honestly, the minute those turkeys hear my car door shut, they turn on their rear ends toward me and scurry off into the woods like a marching band! The only picture I captured was one of turkey butts!

      Delete
  16. I have that exact same camera in your first shot. Lima beans...I could never stomach those. I think it is the weird texture of them. We are keeping it simple this year, home cooked but easy and a small crowd only the three of us and my parents. Hopefully nobody kills each other is always my Thanksgiving wish.

    ReplyDelete
  17. YOUR Thanksgiving sounds like the perfect day, Donna! Family is one of God's greatest blessings.Loved your camera whimsy today - have a blessed Thanksgiving!

    ReplyDelete
  18. my ideal Thanksgiving is sipping wine way too early in the day while I'm preparing our humble feast - then a walk on the beach before indulging in pumpkin pie.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Your photos are simply beautiful, Donna! They have put a huge smile on my face! :)
    Your Thanksgiving sounds perfect to me. Hubby and I had the chance to celebrate Thanksgiving once, in 2001, when we were living in Maryland. Such a joyful day.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your beloved ones.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I would say you've got it right, Donna! Happy Thanksgiving!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Happy thanksgiving to you and yours. I love your pretty pictures. I decorate right after Thanksgiving as well. I listen to Christmas music while I cook thanksgiving dinner....don't tell.

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.