Gathering with family and eating at Grandma’s house . . .
The food . . .
The smells . . .
Drawing names for Christmas . . .
My first ‘Thanksgiving’ dinner - friends and I were going to New York for Thanksgiving in college, so beforehand, I invited them over and made them a feast . . . my first Thanksgiving away from home . . .
Thanksgivings not-so-traditional and/or away . . . Thanksgiving with my seminary colleagues also working overseas in Scotland . . . fabulous . . .Thanksgiving alone after my divorce . . . Thanksgiving in New York City, separated from all my family, walking from 34th Street to the restaurant in the 80's . . . the parade was fabulous, the dinner, not so much . . .
When I started making the Thanksgiving dinner . . . family gathered . . . laughing, the Thanksgiving box Araka made (I still have it) . . . getting out all the best china, setting the table, appreciating the beauty as well as the food, friends coming over later, after their own feasts . . . my step-son’s Thanksgiving of four(!) meals . . . he calls every Thanksgiving . . . Thanksgiving in my apartment with seminary friends . . . the Saturday after Thanksgiving when I learned my colleagues had been kidnaped . . .
There are no food disasters in my memories . . . there are only memories of family and friends, gathered around the table . . .
It is no accident that in celebrating communion, we first say the prayer called The Great Thanksgiving and that communion itself, in the Greek, is called The Eucharisto (The Thanksgiving) . . .
I never serve at a soup kitchen for Thanksgiving or Christmas . . . those are days I always want to be with family and friends, just us, sitting, laughing and talking, even watching football . . . our togetherness our communion and our thanks . . .