This Thanksgiving, we decided to try something different. For the past 10 years of our relationship we have always traveled to see our extended families, sometimes trying to visit both sets in the short holiday time we had off from work. This usually included an overnight stay at least once every holiday or long drives in the middle of the night. Coordinating with relatives, packing bags, making dishes for the formal meal sitting, and prepping our children the past few years became overwhelming. There are many things to be thankful for even in that scenario: family willing to let us stay, both sets of our parents still being married, and our boys being able to spend some time running around with the cousins.
But I suggested an “out” this year. A way for us to connect to our boys, to try to instill in them that Thanksgiving is not about making others happy, being told to sit still, stressing to make an awesome made-from-scratch meal, or looking nice for the family. And we did it. We didn’t travel. We didn’t worry about having the extended family over for a massive turkey.
On Thanksgiving day, I made a large lunch while my husband wrestled around with the boys. And then we sat around the table with our little guys and talked about all we were thankful for, especially having each other in our lives, and how richly God has blessed us. We asked them to share how they were thankful (some interesting conversations with a 3 1/2 year old and an almost 2 year old) — and we did it all in our pajamas. And we all got to rest and take naps afterward.
We opened our home to our extended family the day after Thanksgiving. Invited them to bring over some snacks and hang out together. We called it Snack Friday. And it. was. great. We gave our families a stress-free space to relax–no happy masks required. There was so much laughter. So many real connections and honest conversations. And joy.
I think what I’ve learned this past year that made me truly want choose a different route for our Thanksgiving was that I can make an impact, I do have a voice.
While I may not be the master of my destiny (that’s God’s job), I do have a responsibility to make thoughtful plans and wise choices.
And we’re really excited about what’s happening for Christmas. Be sure to check back in during December to find out more about our plans!