Getting Ready

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor the hubby and me, Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday.  Maybe that’s because it’s the only one where the family still gathers at our house, and each year we hope that all of our small brood will be at the table.

img_8283Most things stay the same from the table setting to the menu. Out come the dryer hose pumpkins that have been a centerpiece mainstay for oh so many years.  

img_8280The trick is to create a little different look each time they appear.  At some point, I may have to start repeating!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

No question the Della Robbia ironstone will come out of the cabinet for its annual appearance.  It is the first set of dishes I bought so they have real sentimental value, and given that only one piece has been broken they are indestructible.  For sure the color way is reminiscent of the 70’s, but for Thanksgiving it is perfect.

Like with the pumpkins, the challenge is to change things up each year, and that is getting harder.  It’s likely that that no one notices whether anything is different,  but for me its’s  what makes setting the table fun.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMost years a little something new is added.  It may be a placemat

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAor glasses or napkin rings.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASome months ago I purchased this inexpensive flatware thinking the colors and shape were fun.  It never occurred to me that it would be a great match for the Thanksgiving dishes, but here it is. Carson of Downton Abbey probably wouldn’t approve of the arrangement, but it adds a bit of jauntiness.

The something new this year are the place holders that I recently found in a cute shop in Franklin, Tennessee.  You can bet they will be part of tables to come.

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With the table ready, I’d best get thinking about a grocery store list!

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Tablescape Thursday

Finishing Touches

Thanksgiving is the only holiday the hubby and I still claim as ours as it is the one time of year when most of our immediate family gathers under our roof.  Some things about this day don’t change.  Everyone makes part of the meal, cornbread dressing and giblet gravy just like Mother made are a must, the same dishes and dryer hose pumpkins are a traditional part of the tablescape.

Thanksgiving tableThe trick with the pumpkins is figuring out how to present them a little differently from one Thanksgiving table to another. This year they  spill out of an old wooden box, special because it belonged to my mother-in-law.

Thanksgiving tableThe box is on a piece of burlap tied at each end with ribbon that has not only the colors of fall but tones complementing those in the painting.  I always like having the table look like it belongs in its space.

Thanksgiving tableLittle turkeys roam the table expecting to cast a soft evening glow, and that’s it, a simple centerpiece.

Thanksgiving tableIt wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without Della Robbia dishes,  the very first ones I bought when I moved into a Houston apartment more than 40 years ago.  Amazingly, not a single piece has been broken.  I had enough burlap and ribbon to make a few placemats that alternate with another set.

Thanksgiving tableNow, orange stems gotten several years ago at Pier One and  new flatware from Ross are added to the mix.  At the time I bought the flatware, I wasn’t thinking about the Thanksgiving table, but it is a fun touch perfect with the Della Robbia.

Thanksgiving tableHelping out with the finishing touches are the girls who are tying napkins with twine and putting their specially made name cards at each place.  

Thanksgiving tableSo, there it is, an uncomplicated Thanksgiving table, full of tradition, around which we will share gratitude for all that blesses our lives and the joy of being together.

Now, it’s off to the kitchen where the girls will make adorable pumpkin rolls from a recipe found here.  My job is to get started on the dressing and season the turkey.  Thinking about all the food that will be on the table  tomorrow reminds me that today I better eat light!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who take the time to read and comment here.  You are among my blessings.

And To All A Good Night

christmas decorTis the night before Christmas and all is definitely quiet at this house.  The stockings hang empty, there are no notes to Santa or cookies left out for him.  How the years have changed, and while there is still the gladness of Christmas, there’s also a little sadness at not being surrounded by family.

Even so, there are some things that fill my heart with joy.  

St. Paul'sThere is the candlelight service at St. Paul’s.  I can’t imagine a more beautiful place than this church lit by candles and filled with voices singing in unison Silent Night and O Come All Ye Faithful.  As everyone leaves in silence, there is such a feeling of shared peace and gratitude.

With our children creating their own family traditions, Christmas Eve is a quieter time for the hubby and me and is shared more often than not with friends whose now adult children are also not at home.  I am very glad for these long time and ongoing relationships.

Linda_  019Before calling it a day, I sit quietly in front of the fireplace remembering my mother, daddy and brother, the absence of whom leaves a hole in my heart.    I chuckle over memories of the hubby putting together the toys from Santa, fussing and cussing when he dropped and couldn’t find an all important screw.  I remember trying to disguise (hard to do!) my handwriting so the girls wouldn’t guess the note from Santa was really from me!  I think of the four of us sitting together,  sipping hot chocolate as we read Twas the Night Before Christmas before the girls headed up to bed.   I smile remembering their bright eyed excitement as they woke us early Christmas morning urging us to get up to see what Santa had brought.

Yes, much of Christmas is now in the memory bank but not its meaning.   It is still a celebration of the birth of Jesus as well as about the magic of believing.  I think I hear the sound of reindeers’ tinkling bells coming this way, so I better get to bed and let that jolly old elf do his thing but not before I read one more time Twas the Night Before Christmas!

Good night to all and to all a good night along with wishes for a very merry Christmas.

Traditions

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was “thank you”, that would be enough.

Meister Eckhart

Isn’t it interesting how traditions evolve?  It seems that certain things keep repeating themselves until, at last, you realize they have become tradition.

Thanksgiving is the most traditional of our family holidays.  We have the same food which is prepared by different hands and served on the same dishes year after year.  Deviled eggs which were once made by Granny are still part of the menu because our good friend Judy recognized the need to keep them coming.  We love her for that and for the sweet potatoes she brings.

The hubby roasts the turkey, and I now make the dressing since Mother is no longer able.   The daughters have taken on the desserts, and this year I’m thinking will be a good time to introduce the granddaughters into the mix.  Maybe they can take over the jello salad!

My favorite tradition, however, occurs when all are seated and we go around the table giving each person the opportunity to share that for which he or she is grateful.

What are your special family traditions on Thanksgiving Day?

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