Thanksgiving in “Ordinary” Time

Table for 14: Not this year!

Thanksgiving this year will be in the last week of the long stretch of “Ordinary Time,” the way the church calendar designates the liturgical year.

No one I know is referring to this holiday season as “ordinary” time! I recall with chagrin how we sat around at our most-unusual Easter and said, “at least Thanksgiving will be normal.” Got that wrong! One thing we all know, it will be remembered.

While we all long for the familiarity of the sameness for all the comfort that can bring, same old-same old can become a blur. Can you really remember something distinct about the last, say, five Thanksgivings? It’s the off-the-rails ones that are most remembered.

My most memorable Thanksgiving, so far, was the one the sewer backed up. Hard to beat that one for novelty! We didn’t want to make a big announcement or forbid the use of the toilet so my husband surreptitiously slipped down to the basement between courses and with a few tools, kept the operation under wraps and the floor clear of water.  We called a plumber the next day.

All the celebrations when the toilet didn’t back up are fuzzier. I remember Thanksgivings in categories.  The childhood ones around my grandparents long table with all the younger cousins. Then the dinners at our house in Quincy with the same people. After that came the ones with Tom’s family and finally the ones with our new family. Those include the big ones and occasionally the small ones. Loved them all, but they are somewhat non-distinct. Except for the years someone played our neglected piano.

Not this year. So far, nothing seems same-old about what will be happening next Thursday. No crowd big or small, I’m still working out the menu for 2-3. Maybe we’ll do a puzzle. The only known is that we will write in our Thanksgiving journal. (Thanksgiving Journal)

I see a lot of ideas of how to pull it off “creatively” this year…zooming with family or friends, eating outside, going for a fresh rather than frozen turkey, ditching the turkey altogether, distributing food to others and more. Are you trying any of these or other ideas?

Maybe, instead of all the focus on logistic planning, this is the year to really dig deep to give thanks. More than a headline when it’s your turn to share around the table.

What elements of your life didn’t change this year or blossomed in the right direction? What basic components of the day to day are you especially grateful for? Who helped you get through the year? What delivery service kept you supplied? This year’s list might be longer than usual!

But this I ask you, don’t write it off. Grab the day and hold on to it and imprint it for the forever files. This is the one you’ll be talking about for years to come. A chance to write a new script, just this once. To really look at the components and choose what will fit: The food, the schedule, the interaction in-person or digital or none at all, the TV off or on. etc. Instead of replicating, try innovating. Re-frame is the operative skill.

It won’t be just like the others, that’s for sure, but it might be the most remembered. Make it count.

Hope for the best,

Tish

PS Are you interested in a two hour At-Home Advent retreat December 5, 8:30-10:30? Ask me for details.

PPS A year ago today I got my 2nd knee replaced. It’s doing just fine, thank you!

0 Responses to “Thanksgiving in “Ordinary” Time”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.





%d bloggers like this: