Do You Struggle At Your House?

Which scenario is it at your house?

When you think of the holidays and Thanksgiving, do you think of a quiet family time where everyone is sharing what they are grateful for?  You sit down at a long table surrounded by family and friends.  You set the table with the special thanksgiving plates and the fancy goblets.  Your napkins are folded to look like turkeys.  You have the pilgrim salt and pepper sets out, one for each end of the table.  The turkey is golden brown and steam is rising from its crispy skin.  It is overflowing with stuffing and surrounded with an artistic display of fruits and veggies.  There are bowls of heaping mashed potatoes and more stuffing, some with oysters and some without.  Don’t forget about the sweet potato casserole and the fluffy hot rolls.  Over on the sideboard is sumptuous display of desserts that is making your mouth water.  You are right on time with the scheduled meal time.  You take turns sharing what you are thankful for this holiday season.  Is this what happens at your house?


Or maybe it is a bit different at your house.  You are scrambling at the last minute to pick up the house because company is coming.  Your voice rings out telling everyone what they need to be doing.  You feel like you need to be everywhere at once because it is not all coming together.  You are hoping the turkey will be done by the time you sit down at the table.  If you are like most of America, your turkey is already carved and sliced up before it ever hits the table.  There is no artistic display, but simply a platter full of turkey slices that look delicious.  You are trying to come up with enough plates and silverware and they will not all match.  The rest of the food display will probably look like what was described in the first paragraph.  You may be up to an hour later than the scheduled meal time, but everyone is pitching in and helping to get it all together.  It is loud and boisterous, with lots of conversation and laughter.  It is finally ready and everyone comes to the different tables you have put in the dining room.  You bow your head and thank the Lord above for the people around the room and the food you are about to eat.  You may go around the table and share what you are thankful for, or you may just share it in conversation  as you all dig in.    


Two totally different scenarios, but neither one is wrong.  Many of us strive to have the first one, but our expectations are not wise for our family.  My family experiences (either side of the family) are more like the second one.  It causes a whole lot less stress if you realize that and don’t shoot for something you are sure to miss.  Stop putting unreal expectations on your day and enjoy your family and share your blessings with each other.  Remember the day is about thankfulness and gratefulness.  Many stress the thanksgiving part but leave off who we are thankful to.  God is the one who gives us all our blessings.  God is the one who allowed you to be part of the family you are.  God is the one who deserves our thanks and praise.  It is hard to have a heart full of thanksgiving, when you are stressing over the details of the day.  So who cares if you eat an hour late.  Look at all the fun you are having with your family and friends, trying to bring it all together.  You will still have a delicious meal and wonderful fellowship. 


I would love to hear about your Thanksgiving.  Please leave a comment below and tell me if you are more like the first scene or the second one.  I would also love to hear any special tradition that you have at your house!



Do You Struggle At Your House? — 9 Comments

  1. We’re pretty relaxed about holiday dinners. We do not strive for high expectations and perfection. No matching dishes here and no holiday salt and pepper shakers, though that *does* sound like a cute idea!

    This year we are having my BIL over for Thanksgiving. Usually it is just hubby, me, and the kids so it will be nice to share the day with someone else! Hubby is an amazing cook, and I like to do the baking. This year we are just doing the Impossible Pumpkin Pie so that I don’t have to make pie crust. (I use a homemade “quick mix” for the pie and whole milk instead of evaporated milk from a can.) I offered to make apple pie, but we decided to keep it more simple. We’re usually too full from dinner to eat a lot of dessert anyway. This year we are throwing in Brussels sprouts with bacon, mmmm! Every year we try a new cranberry sauce recipe.

    • YAY for relaxed. 🙂 My Mom was the jello queen. I still want to try and make her recipe healthy some day, but I always make her Cranberry Jello Salad each year. I love cranberries and I bet you have come up with some good recipes!!

  2. #2 for sure. There will be 40 of us! So we do the meat, rolls, and my mom’s always necessary sweet potato casserole with too much bourbon in it. (She always swore the alcohol cooked off.) Everyone else brings all the sides. Way fun and loud and always too much food.

  3. Thanks for this – I tend to get so stressed out over dinners and I’m not even trying to be perfect – just trying to be semi-normal. Ha. My family just wants me to be happy not falling apart at the seams..Thanks for the encouragement

  4. OK, this is sad and I’m embarrassed to admit it, but my entire family HATES turkey. We eat pizza. It really nice, really good homemade pizza but it’s still pizza. For years I made my kids promise they would never tell a soul but word got out somehow. Now we have people go to their relatives for the “Turkey dinner” (which they all eat politely?) and then they come crash at my house and eat pizza. At first it was just my kids friends, now they bring the whole family. We eat off paper plates and you can eat anywhere you want. This year I know my 94 year old Dad will be here, along with 6-10 kids my college age kids are bringing home from college for the break, plus 3-8 kids my high school kid has invited, plus 6+ neighbors. It will be loud. It will be chaotic. It will be pizza. And, at this point, I have accepted that this is our Holiday tradition.

  5. We have opted for a pot luck this Thanksgiving, it seemed the best way to get everyone together with the minimum of stress. We have an open invitation to anyone during Thanksgiving and Christmas that doesn’t have a place to go – I hate to think of anyone spending the holidays alone.

  6. We have our Thanksgiving on Friday. My husband’s mom always worked on Thursday, my husband works on Thursday, so it’s our tradition now, for as long as I’ve been a part of the family. And it has happily taken all the pressure off. My parents have long since passed, as have my children, so it’s just the two of us now. We would volunteer if he didn’t have to work and if I didn’t have disabilities. But there will come a time! Until then, we make friends and enjoy each other’s company.

  7. It is just the 3 of us and the cat. This year it will be different as we are getting a year old rescue dog imported from down south TODAY. Hope she likes snowy SW Michigan and Lasagna for dinner! Ok, maybe Lasagna for just the Human Peeps! I entered your Birthday celebration.

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