Updated: Nov 25, 2021
”Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”1 Thessalonians 5:18
It’s Thanksgiving week which can bring a myriad of thoughts, chores and meanings for all of us. For many, it’s a time of joy, a sweet time with family and fond memories surrounded by a cornucopia of delicious recipes. For others, the holidays may bring less warmth if they sparks anxiety from trauma, memories of a loved one who has passed away, or feelings of loneliness in even the most crowded spaces. Wherever you fall on the scale of thanks this season, let me share a thought that has been very freeing for me.
Holidays are built on tradition, and whether we agree or disagree with the original intent behind those traditions doesn’t matter. Each day is what we make of it. So, we should grant ourselves the grace to do the same for the holiDAYS too. Make your own traditions to pass down to your kids and grandkids. Find the good and put your own spin on these special days ahead.
For me, Thanksgiving could be a very sad time. Several years ago, it was a season of loss for our family. Within a two month period we lost my grandmother to liver disease and my aunt (my moms only sister) to breast cancer. During this same time we became aware of our oldest sons battle with addiction. It was a trying time in our life and I barely remember the holidays from 2014. That was years ago, and we have celebrated many wonderful memories since, but it’s hard not to think about those events when this season rolls around. Instead of planning for a pity party, we are focused on making new memories and finding joy in new traditions.
This is the first year that both of our oldest sons will be unable to come home for Thanksgiving. Although that is a very common occurrence with grown-up children who live out of state, it’s still a sad one for this mama. I‘ve always known that my kiddos would one day leave the nest, but until I began to live that out, there are many realities I had never considered...like not seeing them on Thanksgiving. Due to the high cost of plane tickets, 10 hr road trips and work schedules, this year it just isn’t possible. When I first realized they wouldn’t be here, I was sad. Sadness is a God-given emotion, and we’re all going to have those feelings sometimes, but what’s important is that we don’t allow that sadness to take over. Instead of dwelling on the one thing that made me sad, I decided to spend time focusing on all of the wonderful things about this holiday that bring me joy! I’m especially thankful for Friends, Family and Food, so we are implementing some new traditions to adapt to our new normal.
We invited an extra family to take part in our thanksgiving festivities, we decided to add to our regular menu and try out a few new recipes, and we are taking a trip to our family farm after dinner. The takeaway is this: we get to choose how we celebrate each holiday. We can focus on the negative or choose to focus on the positive. I am always going to find the good and choose to build on that, even if it means starting new traditions and finding new meaning behind old ones.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! XO, Laura