My favorite Thanksgiving ritual, apart from my sister’s pumpkin pie served ice cold for breakfast the next morning, is my Thanksgiving gratitude jar.
I bring out the jar with its wide generous mouth about a week before Turkey Day and leave it on the kitchen table and invite family and friends to feed the jar with notes of gratitude. I’ll be honest. I have more entries than the male members of my family, which is everyone else.
I love to pull out the old notes. Some of my favorites are from my youngest son Alec when he was little, more for the childish scrawl than for the sentiments.
I am also particular to my own from the same era, 2005. “I am grateful for Alec, who calls me from what I am doing a hundred times a day and reminds me that the here and now is all we have.”
…I am grateful that the man I love is a grand man, for Gerry’s intensity and gentleness. He makes me laugh, he makes me furious, and he makes me grow…”
…I am grateful for Evan, and his bear hugs, and willingness to make peace with me even when one of us has been truly grumpy.”
And as always it is impossible to overlook my middle son Shane. His offering one year must be seen to be appreciated. It is a picture of a turkey, with the understated: “I am thankful for my family, friends, and above all, that I am not a turkey.” (Debatable, on occasion, young man.) Shane also included three jokes, or “fowl play.” My favorite is the drawing of a somewhat sinister looking pilgrim with the caption: ”Why can’t Pilgrims keep their pants on? They wear their belts on their head.”
My notes also celebrate friendship….”I am grateful to my friends who challenge me, care for me, and walk me like the restless puppy I am.” You know who you are.
I couldn’t close an Among Friends blog without a nod to the kitchen, the heart of my home, and yours. I’m starting to get excited to welcome my two older sons from college. (I’m going to home college the last one.) In anticipation, I got out my rolling pin and rolled out some cookie dough using the Shane’s sweet and spicy molasses ginger cookie mix. It is beautiful dough. My turkeys came out picture worthy.
I owe my late night inspiration to a customer who wrote yesterday. I felt so grateful to Julie D. for taking the time to write: “Shane’s mix makes the best gluten free cookie I have ever tasted. Went out and bought two more bags for Thanksgiving. Can’t wait to try the fruit crumble mix! THANK YOU for creating this wonderful treat.”
My thought, Thanksgiving 2014, is simple: Take the time.” It’s the most important ritual.