As we prepare to fly to Michigan to spend Thanksgiving with our kids, I am working on My Thanksgiving Shopping List . Not my food list for the grocery store. That was sent off to my son last week, who is hosting for the second year running. Brave soul. It was a list of the basics: turkey, butter, eggs, bread, potatoes, fresh herbs and vegetables, and so on. The food part of Thanksgiving is easy for me, although some of you probably don’t want to hear that. It wasn’t always easy, but it gets easier every year. Trust me. Looking for some last minute tips? Refer to my recent post, Thanksgiving is for Family and Friends. The list I am working on now is my “grown up shopping list”, the list you work on when you get the food part figured out. The list I work on the days leading up to any particular holiday now. It varies each holiday, depending on where I will be and with whom.
Here is my Thanksgiving 2015 Shopping List:
- Memories . . . bring the memories along of Thanksgivings pasts.
The good memories, that is: when Mom was at the table, Dad carved the turkey, Scott and I snuck the raw stuffing, and after dinner we cleaned the guns for the first day of buck season, when Mackenzie and Zach sat around the table in highchairs then boosters, my first Thanksgiving with Jack, Thanksgivings spent with friends and extended family, the one we walked the streets of Georgetown all morning, and when Shamrock was fed way too much turkey by Mom (I’ll skip details of the aftermath). I will bring the good memories and leave the bad ones on the shelf.
- Something for everyone. Whether it is their favorite side dish or dessert, or a little something at each place setting. I like to have something for everyone so they know I thought of just them during my planning and preparation. This year I have a little something for each to put on the table. Nothing big, but something to let each know they were thought of, and hopefully something that will remind them of this Thanksgiving in the future.
- Patience. I am taking lots of patience off the shelf and bringing it along to help remind me that it doesn’t matter what time dinner gets on the table, what color the napkins are, if the gravy is of perfect consistency, or we run out of milk before the potatoes are mashed. None of it matters, and I won’t care about these details, because patience is on my list, and I am stocking up.
- An attitude of gratitude.
I have so much to be thankful for, and this is the perfect time to reflect on our blessings, take the time to show our appreciation to those in our life who give so much, and most importantly, show up with an attitude of gratitude. A smile on my face, a hug to give, a thank you, a listening ear. Live each day with a grateful heart, but especially this week, stock up on that attitude of gratitude and spread it everywhere you go.
What am I leaving off my list this year? Control. Leave the need to control on the top shelf. Don’t touch it. Don’t even look at it. You (I) do not need to control anything this week, except the temperature on the oven and the thermostat in the house (remembering that I am suffering hot flashes at this point in my life). There was a time when I felt responsible for the weather. The fucking weather. Yes, it was my responsibility to make certain that the roads weren’t snow covered, that it didn’t rain, it wasn’t too cold, or too hot. I stressed out over the weather. Not anymore.
What else am I leaving off my list this year? Expectations. The surest way to be disappointed in your holiday celebration is to have unrealistic expectations. So have no expectations, then you will not be disappointed. Trust me on this one. I know, I know. That is a difficult thing, to have absolutely no expectations. Of course I will expect to have electricity and for my son’s oven to work. I expect the airlines to get my daughter to Michigan from California, and me and Jack there from Florida. I expect Ohio State to beat Michigan Saturday while I freeze my butt off at The Big House. Beyond that, I will leave expectations on the shelf, along with control. Both of those things are staying in Florida this year. There is no place for either at our celebration.
There is room on the shelf for your need to control, if you have it, and expectations, right along side mine. Leave both off your Thanksgiving Shopping list this year. Be kind to yourself and your loved ones. Enjoy the season, and whomever it is that sits around your table, eating what food is prepared, at whatever time it is ready. And for heaven’s sake, don’t worry about the weather.
Thank you for reading, and Happy Thanksgiving!