Did I ever tell you this is my favorite Holiday? What is it about this holiday that makes it stand out from all the rest? Perhaps it is the time of year that makes it special, since Fall happens to be my favorite season. Perhaps it is the smells emanating from the kitchen (glorious aroma of roasting turkey, spicy pumpkin pies, wafting scent of hot cider) or the sight of a beautiful table setting. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that this holiday has not been turned into a retail nightmare, mixed up with Santa or Easter Bunnies or the like. No, it's just a true day of being thankful.
True, we 'ran away' for the official day but it's not the actual day that matters, it's how you decide to celebrate it. And celebrate it we did.
Thank goodness for a church fellowship hall to fit us all in to. 18 in all... (19 if you count Fergie the dog. and since she did an adequate job if sweeping up the crumbs under the table I guess she does) I think one of the best part of the gathering yesterday for me was seeing our families-- mine, Bruce's and 2 of our best couple/friends all gathered together in one place to celebrate. I don't know how many couples combine their families together for an occasion other than weddings and birthdays. Usually we split things like, Christmas Eve with my family, Christmas Day with yours but Bruce and I like to shake things up a bit I guess.
It helps that there has already been a bit of integrating done between our families over the years. And that we are all pretty easy going and flexible.
After the usual time of social mingling as the last of the food was prepared, and waiting for the last person to arrive, we stood in a circle and each shared a bit. To make it fun, Bruce suggested that we each tell one thing we were thankful for and then tell how we were related to, or knew, Baby Bennett (his first thanksgiving)
Both exercises were fun! It was especially funny to watch some of the folks trying to figure out how they were related to Bennett. Since Bennetts' daddy is my stepson, my brother was trying to figure out the relation. "Am I his great uncle or am I a cousin? (correct answer: great uncle)
One of the most common thing we expressed thankfulness for was family and friends, which was exactly why we had planned this gathering. Although I had to admit I was really thankful for the use of the church for the day since it meant I didn't have to stress out over cleaning my house or figuring out how to make room for us all!!
We enjoyed a fine meal and then after some cleaning up we settled in the worship center and Bruce shared the powerpoint presentation of his trip to Japan. And passed around candy and other treats he had brought home with him. Have you ever had cola gum? Gum with a fizzy coka-cola center? Very interesting!
It was a really lovely evening and I think everyone had a good time. I know I did (and usually large gatherings wear me down) But instead, I came home with a full tummy and a full heart. And truth be told, I think my heart was the fullest of the two.