Thanksgiving was a special time for my family growing up. One of my fondest memories was watching “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” on TV. After watching Snoopy and Woodstock prepare their Thanksgiving meal of buttered toast, pretzel sticks, popcorn, and jelly beans, I was very grateful for what we had for our dinner!
On Thanksgiving morning, my brother, sister and I would wake up to the early, faint smells of the turkey roasting and hurry downstairs to watch the “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade”. Mom was already knee deep preparing the endless dishes for our feast later in the day. I wanted to make the day special for our guests too. I would spend hours creating place cards for each guest at our dinner table. I would carefully write their names in my best calligraphy and draw a different Peanuts character on each one. I really enjoyed seeing their face light up when they saw them.
Back then, Christmas was but a distant thought until after the turkey sandwiches had long overstayed their welcome and after my sister’s birthday in mid December. It was a family rule that we never decorated or celebrated Christmas until after her birthday. Mom didn’t want her to feel like her special day was washed out by the BIG holiday coming. I am so glad we honored her day like that growing up.
So for me, this holiday has always held a special place in my heart and still does. It isn’t just a speed bump to the ho-ho-ho gift giving holiday that is next.
Thanksgiving doesn’t deserve the ‘thank-less’ treatment it receives. The second the flame dies out on your jack-o-lantern, it’s immediately ‘game on’ for overwhelming consumerism of the coveted gift giving holiday season. Now, don’t get me wrong. I dig the holiday season just as much as the next gal, but I get frustrated when I see holiday decorations and merchandise up in the stores the minute that the kids are back in school.
This year, especially given the current events that have happened in the last few weeks, I am finding myself thinking about where we came from, who helped us get to where we are today and all the things I am grateful for. In that spirit, I offer you some things to ponder as your get ready for this day of thanks.
Your home is your sanctuary and respite from this often cold and unforgiving world. On Thanksgiving, we open up our homes to friends, loved ones and often times unexpected guests who are in need of family, love and community on this day of sharing.
Getting your home prepared for such an event can seem overwhelming and a task, but consider shifting your perspective. Focus instead on being fully present and meditative on your preparations and traditions. Whether it is washing and pressing your table linens that your great-grandmother passed down to you, bringing down your mom’s special china from the attic to use or making that special recipe that everyone asks you to make every year.
Now I know scrubbing toilets and steam vacuuming your carpeting isn’t as nostalgic as the other tasks I mentioned, but still know that what you are doing is truly honoring your family and friends who you are welcoming into your space. Honestly, they don’t care if your house is perfect or if you did all (any) of the ideas you pinned on Pinterest for Thanksgiving. They are there simply to be surrounded by warmth and love, good food, laughter and fun.
Here are a few simple and fun things you can do to make your home extra special for this day of thanks.
- Put out small pieces of paper and a pen and encourage guests to write what they are most thankful for and put it in a bowl. Over dessert, have everyone pull out a note from the bowl to share what is written.
- If you have children or ones who are visiting, put out markers and blank folded index cards. Have them decorate a place card for each guest who will be attending dinner. If they are so inclined, they can also make a GIVE THANKS banner or other holiday inspired drawings to be hung for all to see.
- If you have a fireplace, instead of having a fire that needs to be tended constantly, put candles of various sizes in place of logs. You will have the soft, warm glow without the hassle.
- Whether or not you are hosting the feast this year, still bring the energy of the season in with small pumpkins, fallen leaves, acorns, and indian corn. Create a large arrangement in the middle of your table for a center piece or smaller ones in various places like a hutch, your bathroom vanity, on a bookshelf or your mantle.
- Put out extra throws, pillows, books and magazines for everyone to find a perch and relax…(especially if not everyone is into watching football). Or better yet, break out the games for after dinner fun!
- If you are gathering at someone else’s home, you can bring your host or hostess a fall inspired centerpiece for their table or a mum for their entryway.
So take a deep breath, hug your loved ones and enjoy this day fully. Be present. Share your home, which really is you sharing your soul with everyone who enters. They will be honored by all you have done to welcome them there. And don’t worry so much about the ‘next’ holiday(s) that are coming up. There is plenty of time to honor those days too!
How would it feel to honor the energy of each season in your home? Imagine how grounded and centered you would feel in your space. Would you like more tips and ways to manifest this your home? You can easily learn how to create this feeling of sacredness in your home this Solstice very easily and inexpensively! This holiday season, honor yourself, your space and all who enter by creating the feeling of warmth and peace you crave!
Sign up below for my next free tele-class in my seasonal series:Honoring the Winter Solstice in Your Home: 5 Ways to Bring Warmth and Peace to Your Space through the New Year Wednesday, December 2nd at 11am PST