As I begin my turkey day meal planning, I thought I’d share some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes with you. (page down for recipes).
But first I’d like to reflect on a moment of gratitude.
Last year for Thanksgiving, we hosted 24 people at our house, all from my husband’s side of the family, including his brother who had just lost his wife to cancer. My sister in law, Diane, was only 55 years old when she died. Her three children and their significant others, along with Diane’s parents and her sister, were all here with us that day.
It was an incredibly special Thanksgiving for all of us to be together and to share such profound love and gratitude in Diane’s memory. The energy created by this gathering was so beautifully ethereal, I will never forget it.
When Diane’s oldest son, Rett, walked in our house, he handed me a casserole and said, “this was my mom’s favorite Thanksgiving dish.” Tears pooled in his eyes despite the smile on his face. I thanked him with a big hug, holding back my own tears. Diane’s sister, brought her favorite homemade rolls, and her mother brought her favorite sweet potato casserole. It didn’t matter what the ingredients were – it was all about love. There was so much love on our table, in our house, in the air, it was surreal.
At one point, Diane’s father, Cliff, and I had a very tender moment. As we were talking, his eyes reflected the unbearable sadness and pain he felt in losing his daughter. Tears began streaming down his cheeks, and he leaned in to hug me. We embraced, holding each other for a long time while he just wept in my arms. Breathing gently, I closed my eyes and held loving, safe space for him. It was such an honor to do that for him.
A few weeks later Cliff died. It hit me hard, reminding of how grateful I was to have shared that precious moment with him.
I will forever cherish that Thanksgiving day. In fact, on New Years Eve when my husband asked me about my favorite memories of the year, that was the very first one that came to mind.
Truth is there really so much to be grateful for every day. And focusing on gratitude breeds more gratitude and love. In the space of gratitude, we can feel peace and freedom.
So in this season of gratitude, let’s focus on being grateful every day.
Make a list at the end of every day of what went well, what you appreciate about yourself and what makes you feel grateful.
Do this for the next 30 days, and I guarantee you will feel a shift in how you feel about yourself and the world around you.
Back to the feast…….
These are just a few of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes that are also always a big hit with the rest of the crowd 🙂
How to Brine a Turkey (trust me it’s totally worth it!)