The Write Word

Traditions. Old & New

Next week marks a huge turn in my life.
 I will be the Thanksgiving cook, 
for the first time.  
I turned 40 this year, 
so I guess it is time for me to start being a real grown up.  
And if being in charge of Thanksgiving dinner 
doesn’t make you a grown up, 
nothing will.

18 years of traditional celebration with my family 
are just not possible any more. 
 Time, distance and circumstance dictate 
that we start celebrating Thanksgiving in a new way
One that, for now, includes just the 6 of us.  
And while my heart longs for the Thanksgiving I knew in years past, 
it is not to be.  
Uninvited, unexpected, unwanted change comes to us all.  

I have a choice, 
mourn the loss of my traditional Thanksgiving tradition, 
and lose the present, 
or embrace the change 
and be thankful anyway.

Sometimes I hear people dismiss tradition, 
as if it is a bad thing.
I choose to look at tradition the way Jesus did,
and use it  sew together the past, present and future.

Jesus used the power of tradition
when he commanded his disciples to observe communion. 
 "Do this in remembrance of me".
Through this act, this tradition, 
his sacrifice is physically remembered.

He knew that act of putting the bread in the mouth, 
the smell and flavor of the grapey liquid, the act of swallowing, 
would remind his disciples of the eternal truth, 
that his body was broken,
 his blood given, 
for them.  

Tradition captures the moment 
and builds a room inside the human heart 
where it can be revisited,
 the moments coming alive again,
time after time.  

So I am choosing my traditions carefully.  
Incorporating sight, sound, smell, taste and tactile elements into the memories.
Hoping that when I am long gone, the observance of them
 will bring to mind these precious times.  
Stitching the past
 to the present 
to the future.

Replica harvest fruits & vegetables to remind us that 
food is not something we can make on our own.
It does NOT come from Aldi.  
Or Sams Club.  
Or the Super Center.
It comes from the field.
It comes from God.

I made a CD filled with songs about gratitude, blessings.  
List available upon request.

Smell & Taste
Something old (recipes), something new (cake pan)
I purchased this cake pan at Walmart ($16 in store, $29.99 online) to make three mini cakes. 

Lemon Poppyseed (Mama’s recipe)  
Pumpkin Cranberry (Aunt Deanie’s recipe) 
and Pecan Pie Cake (a nod to Mamaw’s pecan pie).  
The kids can help mix and glaze them.

Thankful Jar
Repurposed glass jar, filled with thankful notes written by each
 member of the family, except Baby G of course.  
 After dinner we will take turns reading aloud from the slips.  
I am going to place the Thankful Jar on the counter in the kitchen, 
over the next year it will get filled up 
for next years Thanksgiving reading.

These small, simple easy to reproduce traditions I am starting this year.  
Thankful music, visual reminders, Thankful Jar, mini family recipe cakes.  
Maybe next year we can add to it.  
Each year building slowly into a strong, safe, 
comforting season, to celebrate blessings.  

I just can’t WAIT to see James, Lincoln and Reagan’s faces 
when I instruct two of them to hold the legs of the turkey 
while the other one gets to cram cornbread 
up its escape hatch!  

What unexpected, uninvited, unwanted thing
has life brought to you?
You have the choice,
live in the past reflections, losing what is NOW
or embrace the change, 
make the best of it.
Find reasons to be thankful.

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