November 22nd, 2007

LJ Idol

Who do You Thank?

This is my entry for LJ Idol, Topic 3: The Giving of Thanks

The Giving of Thanks

"Wait, wait, does everyone have something to write on?"

"Don't lose the tag! I'm saving my tags with my gifts, it's so much easier..."

"Don't forget to write to Mammaw and thank her."

"Okay, now write a Big C, then an h, that's fine ..."

"No, a phone call is not the same; yes, email is Acceptable."

"Why don't you say the Grace, 'kin, you're the most religious here..."

When I got married, my mother carefully inventoried each wedding gift in our keepsake book. While I was on my honeymoon, she thoughtfully stamped and addressed an envelope for each Thank You note. She and Daddy bought the notes as part of the Wedding Invitation stationery. As part of sending out the invitations, Mom created an index-card file (this was years before Mom and Dad bought their first Macintosh). Each card listed not only name and address, but whose relative or friend the card represented.

Flar and I shared the writing of the thank you notes, and my mother never resorted to Dear Abby.

When my boys were young, I bought the Thank You notes with the fill-in-the-blank inside messages.

"Dear __________,

Thank you very much for the ___________. I really like it.

Sincerely, ____________."

"Wow! Thank you so much for inviting us to your party! We enjoyed ourselves so much. We are grateful for all the ways you have included us in your lives."

The first time Flar and I threw a party, I think we entertained 10 guests at a Christmas open house. That is, if you count family AND friends. No, no, I am always and ever grateful when friends bless me with their company. I remember a time when our friends were few and distant.

I thank God for friends.

((((Mom, Thank you so much for taking out the trash for me. I was *so* tired last night.))))

No, thank you Critter for years and years of wanting to help, to cheerfully working around the house.

((((Mommy, thank you for fixing me exactly what I wanted for a birthday cake. It's perfect!))))

No, thank you Tigger, for helping me color the icing and place the decorations and plan the fun.

I thank God for my children.

I don't get kisses from my boys. I haven't since Tigger was pretty darn young. Somewhere he got the idea that only hugs were okay. So I take all the hugs I can get from my boys. Critter, who reaches down to me, and still grasps under my arms when he hugs me. Tigger, who used to leap into my arms, can still give hugs that take my breath away.

I thank God for hugs.

Thank you is a phrase often heard in this house. We so often forget to say please, that if added on to a request, it seems to imply impatience more than courtesy. But thank you's are easy to come by and sincere in their delivery.

Who do we thank today? The chef, the cleaners, the table setters, the guests, Honey-baked Ham (did they invent the Spiral Cut?), Louis Pasteur (whom Tigger included in his thanks for Egg Nog)...

"Thank you God, for this time together with the whole family. A time of plenty and a time for relaxing and enjoying each other. May we have many more years like this to come."

No, I didn't write it out in advance, and thus I'm paraphrasing what I did say. But it sums up what Thanksgiving day is for me.

Thanksgiving was set aside as a special day for the Giving of Thanks, but I begin and end each of my days giving thanks to my God. There are many things which remain in my prayers each day: thanks for bringing me to Him, thanks for family, thanks for peace, thanks for hope. There are changing but common themes: thanks for waking me so early today - ready to get busy all around me, thanks for making me sleepy early enough to get my rest, thanks for giving me such a clean house, thanks for hard work completed, thanks for grace over so many, many shortcomings.

I thank God for loving me.

One of my favorite Thanksgivings

Bless my hubby, it was his idea to buy a ham this year. Honey Baked. So much easier than Turkey and Dressing, omigosh. Bless my children, the house looked great! They helped me clean, helped Flar in the dining room, and Tigger even baked fresh pumpernickel bread, teh yummm!

Since I was "cooking," Flar was in charge of setting the table. He took this to mean ironing the table linens, and reorganizing the entire lower part of the china cabinet. (Later, when he was sitting in the family room, he could tell Critter exactly where to find more napkins for the bread.)

By the time everyone arrived, the kitchen and dining room tables were set, with ice in the water glasses and ice water in the pitchers; with monogram coasters at each place (Scarlett gets a butterfly -- I made them before she was part of the family). The bread was baked, the rolls were baked, the ham was warm in the oven, there was a place for everything. The only turkey on the table was carved from butter (I love buying carved butter for the holiday).

Flar had a side table with coffee setups, and another with the Funky Llama wine (I've forgotten which variety, but I loves me some red, so it was a red) and various liqueurs. Truly's hashbrown casserole was delish, as was Brody's sweet potato crumb souffle; but better was their light hearted recounting of their knife fight during food prep. Scarlett makes a fab coconut-walnut cake, and Tigger's pumpernickel came out heavy but yummy. Critter had thirds or fourths of the cranberry fluff (I said I didn't cook -- but I did mix stuff together: one recipe for cranberry fluff for today, and two recipes of cookie dough to roll out and bake tomorrow). Each of his helpings was bigger than the one before, and yet we still managed to have some leftover.

The kitchen was clean before we ate (which seems unheard of, to me), and it's almost clean now. The china is clean in the dish washer; the rest of the dishes are scraped and waiting their turn.

Now I'm on home duty for Black Friday. I get to stay in my comfy chair, warm and cozy, with the promise to leap out of my chair and spring into duty at a simple phone call. Flar and Critter have already hit up the CompUSA early sale and netted a laptop for Gaucha (whose computer is dying), and a new mouse and display for Flar. Flar dropped Critter in line at Best Buy and came home for Tent, sleeping bags, chairs, a blanket and pillows. He also dug up the best buy coupons and charge card, and Critter's birthday gift card. Meanwhile, I put together a couple of bowls of hot soup, a jug of hot chocolate, and a zip-lock of Tootsie Rolls. Flar thinks my first call will be around 3am, so I'm going to read through the LJ Idol Topic 3 entries.

How was your Thanksgiving?