Thanksgiving is not just a day. It is a feeling of gratitude, a moment of celebrating the good in our lives and sharing those good feelings with others. It does not matter if that happens on the fourth Thursday of November, or some other time. In this case, it happened on Saturday, November 12.
A friend and I were lamenting that we would both be away for Thanksgiving, and would not get to celebrate together. So we decided that we would celebrate the holiday early. Who cares if it’s not the actual day? We still have each other. And turkey. And stuffing. And desserts a-plenty. Thus began the planning. This would not be a big blowout with loads of people. Rather, a few important ones.
A few days before the festivities, I received my tasks: Brussels Sprouts and dessert (and that dessert had better include pumpkin pie). Perfect. Pumpkin pie, chocolate cheesecake, and a Brussels Sprouts with Feta and pomegranate seeds. No problem.
Except I forgot to make the sprouts.
Oops. I had been a little busy that day and made an extra cake to bring to a memorial we were attending before dinner. One thing led to another, and I completely forgot the vegetable. We showed up, I was enjoying my first glass of wine and realized my mistake. The raw sprouts, cheese, and pomegranate seeds were all safely in our refrigerator, untouched.
Fortunately, our hosts had way too much food, and nobody missed the sprouts. There was a twenty-seven-pound bird, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, and acorn squash. (See? There was a vegetable anyway.)
Stuffing – or dressing, as my mother likes to call it (“It is not stuffing if it is not actually stuffed inside the bird.“) – is my favorite part of the meal. Except I don’t eat chorizo, bacon, or any other pig products usually associated with stuffing/dressing. My friends gladly made the stuffing/dressing so that I would eat it. Of course, I was delighted and went back for seconds (and thirds, and I will neither confirm nor deny possibly going back for fourths. Whatever. I only eat it once a year.)
As everyone pronounced they could not possibly eat another morsel, it was time for dessert. My friend Mark had carefully sliced seven small pieces of pie and left the remaining two-thirds of the pie for himself. I was alright with that, as there was a delicious chocolate cheesecake waiting.
In addition to the cheesecake, I am thankful for my friends who are so incredibly good to me. After all, friends are the family you choose, and these particular friends fulfill that role perfectly. I am grateful for my good health and that of my family and friends. This year we have several fantastic vacations planned, and I am thankful to be able to enjoy travel and all of the fabulous things that go along with that. I am most of all grateful for a wonderful husband and partner in life that is by my side through all of it.
There are so many more things to be thankful for, and I cannot possibly fit them into one blog post (trust me – it would get very long, and you would be bored to tears.) Whatever it is that makes your world go ’round, make sure to recognize those things on Thanksgiving, and every other day.