I am hosting Thanksgiving for the first time. I made a turkey once in college while keeping my phone on speed dial to my mother and the butterball hotline. I am sure over the years I have made a few other turkeys for other occasions. Actually hosting the meal the day of Thanksgiving is a first. My mother has graciously hosted our meal for my entire lifetime. I can count on my hand the number of times I have missed it. It is an honor for me to get the actual day to cook for those I love. What has been impacting me about this event is not anxiety of whether my turkey will be moist but instead, how much can I change without upsetting others?
Decluttering is about change. This year Thanksgiving is about change. Changing a holiday requires sensitivity and a bit of boldness. I respectfully asked everyone who is coming what dish is important to them so I am sure to include it. Although I want to serve my yummy cranberry bread, Brown and Serve rolls from the store are a staple in our meal. Yams, normally made from a can and with an entire bag of marshmallows, are being replaced with the real thing and slightly less marshmallows. I found myself struggling not to buy the canned cranberry. Do you know the one that when it comes out its in the shape of the can with the lines of the can impressed upon it? I wasn’t crazy enough to make it from scratch my first year so Trader Joe’s cranberry sauce in a jar will suffice. The green bean casserole is gone and my yummy asparagus with lemon juice and pine nuts will step in. Change – even positive change – requires emotionally energy and forethought. Traditions need to be honored and respected but new ones can be added and outdated ones phased out. I encourage you this holiday to declutter your “we always do this” mentality. Keep what is loved by all or even highly valued by just one of your loved ones. Get rid of the excess. We never eat the celery served every year so it’s gone. Make sure to add something new that may turn into a tradition. Our “new” is reading slips of paper my family has been writing on all month to say what we are thankful for. After dinner, we will turn those slips of thankful papers into a paper chain to decorate our home for Christmas. I have wanted to do this for years. Change takes time but it’s worth the effort to get there. I am thankful for you and the time you give me to read my thoughts. May the Lord shine His face upon you and be gracious.