Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday, yes, even beating out Christmas. There’s something to be said for a holiday that hasn’t caved in to commercialism. In our family, it is a time of gathering together to share a feast, but most importantly, to thank God, who has so richly blessed us all year long.
A dozen or more years ago, my mother bought a white linen tablecloth and some colorful, permanent, fabric markers. At our family gathering, she invited us to write something on the Thanksgiving tablecloth for which we were thankful.
Every year we reuse the same tablecloth and add what we’re thankful for that year. We all sign and date our entry. Some draw a picture. The children think it’s wonderful to write on the tablecloth! And the adults love it almost as much.
This tradition became particularly meaningful after my father died. We could see his writing on our tablecloth and remember his legacy of faith and thanksgiving. It’s also fun watching the grandchildren grow and seeing their baby scribbles turn to actual writing and true expressions of thanks. It’s a linen journal of gratitude that we gather around as we eat our traditional feast.
Now Thanksgiving is held at my house instead of Mom’s. As I spread the tablecloth over our table each year, I anticipate the arrival of those whom I cherish in the deepest part of my heart. I often get teary remembering all the ways we’ve been blessed, mostly by just being together year after year. I reread the words of thankfulness we’ve written over the years, struggles we’ve been through, joys we’ve experienced, losses we’ve grieved, and remember that God has never left us or forsaken us. That is what I am most thankful for–God’s ever-abiding presence faithfully ministering to us in every season of life.
What Thanksgiving traditions does your family have? Share it with us in the comments.