(Our) Thanksgiving 2013

This year for Thanksgiving, my mom's immediate family came to dinner.  She does that every two years.  It's nice being able to see parts of your family in between family reunions.

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Now if you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that there are a few things that remain constant with my Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations.  One - we almost always have a church service in the morning and Two - there is always lots and lots of food.  Now, bear in mind that just because there's always lots of food, it doesn't mean that everyone is actually eating that much for the dinner.  There's just that much more to take home or share with guests on the upcoming days...and yes, they almost always leave with another plate.

So, yes, we had church at 10:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning.  I had a wonderful time, and it really helped to bring focus to what Thanksgiving means to me.  It's not so much the historical aspect of the holiday, but a time set aside to show thankfulness for all things, even in the midst of trials.  Sometimes we I tend to lose focus on all the good around us because we're I'm going through so many hard times.  The way gets a bit cloudy, so I appreciate those services that help me put things in perspective.

After service, the guest pastor gave all these groceries out in the community.  That was his way of showing the spirit of Thanksgiving.

After church, family gathered at my house for dinner.  I joke with them and say that they love me for my countertops!  My kitchen and dining room is basically one room and so it's easier to serve than in my mom's kitchen.  Honestly, I enjoy having them there.

Let me show you a little decor... 

This is my centerpiece - brown rice, a variety of beans, and cranberries.
This is the dining room table.  In the back is the cd player.  We always play traditional gospel (songs my grandma, uncles, and aunts enjoy.  Not contemporary.)

And then loads and loads of food...
Ham, turkey wings, pork loin, chicken and dumplings, collard greens, rutabagas, rice, pinto beans, macaroni and cheese, green beans with carrots, cornbread, fat back and probably more!
Somewhere in the middle of dinner, we were able to Skype my brother and sister-in-law who live about 10 hours away.  That was fun!  The next best thing to not having them there in person.

Then there was dessert...
 I dedicated this bottom of a hutch/turned buffet into a dessert station.
Tea muffins, chocolate valentine cupcakes, coconut cupcakes, sour cream pound cake, sweet potato pie, blueberry/cherry cheesecake, and those turkey pilgrams (they're laying on the dessert table; can't you see their feathers?) are stuffed with Blow Pops!

Every time we gather for Thanksgiving, my mom plays this game where each guest is given a number, then another set of those numbers is placed in a cup.  When your number is drawn, you can pick a gift from a table in the room.  Whatever is leftover is donated to a local charity.  Most of the gifts are books because my mom, the former librarian, has a deep affection for them.

All in all, I enjoyed my holidays.  I enjoyed seeing my grandma so much.  Of course, there was a soft spot in my heart for my dad, but I'm learning to enjoy life even though he is no longer here to enjoy it with me.

Really, "Thanksgiving" should be everyday.

* If you've made it to the end of this post, you've done really well.  Thanks for scanning, reading, or scrolling through pictures (whichever one applies).  LOL *

Happy Wednesday after Thanksgiving,

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  1. Hi Libby, Your Thanksgiving looks like it was perfect! Your centerpiece was beautiful topped with the cranberries! I love your mom's gift giving idea. Having the balance go to charity is wonderful!

  2. Sounds (and looks) like you had a wonderful time with your family. Just what it is all about. Love the book giveaway! What a smart Mom you have. ;) And rutabagas! I haven't had those in years! Love them. I'm going to have to call my Mom and find out her recipe for them. Oh the memories. :)

    Some how I think your Dad is still beside you enjoying things with you, is spirit. :)

  3. Wow Libby!! love your heart...and your countertops :) on a side note...that is some yummy food!!

  4. I loved this post! I can't take my eyes out of the food pictures (lol) and can't help imagining how would it be to share this special holiday with you. Do your aunts tell you to eat more and more? ;-)
    Having family at home is the best gift ever and they are what we should be thankful for -- although your mom's books are great gifts too!!

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  6. Sorry for the wrong comments lol. ( I wanted to post to other blog and didnt realized it went to you hehe)
    This beautiful tradition and the table setting looks lovely and delightful. I love what your Mom's doing for the thanksgiving.

  7. I'm hungry all over again as if I didn't eat dinner. Everything looks delicious. Glad you had a wonderful holiday with your family. I love the game your mom played too.


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