An Inviting Table
When I think of Thanksgiving morning, I always remember waking up to the smell of pecan pies baking. Mamma would always bake the pies before the turkey to let them sit and cool. Secretly, I think she was trying to tempt our will power to see if we could save dessert for last. Meanwhile, the Macy's Day Parade would be on, and we would all squeal as our yearly favorite floats marched down 31st Street. The Radio City Rockets were always a highlight...as a child that is what I dreamed of doing, high kicking in the Big Apple. And when the fun paused for a commercial break, my siblings and I would eagerly flip through the Black Friday paper ads, writing our wish list for the midnight shopping spree.
Thanksgiving was and is my favorite holiday. Not because of the pecan pies that melt in your mouth or seeing Santa at the end of the Macy's Parade, but because of the people we shared it with. Every year we would be at my grandparents’ house. Most of the time it was just family, but sometimes we would invite the little old lady from down the street whose husband passed away or the veteran who lived far from family to gather around our table with us. Before we ate, we had a tradition of going around the table and saying one thing we were thankful for. There would be tears and deep belly laughs as we reminisced about Jesus’s faithfulness over the past year. The essence of our conversation always revolved around gratitude. Another year that we got to gather, another year of health, another year of life. And as simple as it is, the weight and magnitude of the blessings we each brought to the table, year after year, would completely humble us.
As my siblings and I have grown older, gotten married, and moved across country and because grandparents age, the Thanksgiving table looks slightly different. There will be vacant seats this year as my brother chases his dream in Boston with his new bride. With my grandparents in a nursing home now, we will host dinner in a different location. But for those of us who will be there, we will continue the tradition of pausing to remember His goodness. And no matter how different Thanksgiving may look today, those childhood memories could never be replaced.
The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving I would always be so eager to help Mamma put out the glass Pilgrim figurines and silk fall leaves on the table. She would always let me do the dining room table because she knew it was my favorite. I would carefully set each place, not being able to help but think of each face that would sit there and how I wanted their setting to be perfect so they would feel so special!
All those years spent decorating our Thanksgiving table with Mamma has taught me a thing or two about what an inviting table should look like. Whether your family from across the country is spending the holidays with you or new friends from down the street, your table represents a safe place to gather. Why not make it meaningful?
As the years have gone by, I now have a home of my own and a long table for my friends and family to gather. When deciding how to decorate our table this year, our theme became my family’s tradition of gratitude. Under my recycled summer succulent and white pumpkin-obsessed centerpiece, you’ll find that our table runner has a list of specific blessings from this year that my husband and I composed. It is a constant reminder in our home to pause in the midst of our crazy and just say thank you. My prayer is that everyone that gathers at our table sees that list and is reminded of the importance of gratitude.
Thanksgiving will be here before we know it, and even though it looks different than it once did, I am thankful to celebrate another year with friends and family. Another year of laughs, tears, grace, love, and faithfulness is a year worth celebrating. As you’re preparing your table for this holiday season, pause to consider what you’re most grateful for this year. That list of blessings might just be your inspiration for your most welcoming tablescape yet!
Special thanks to three incredible woman who partnered with us for our photo shoot!
Events by Goldman is an events and design firm based in Middle TN. Our heart behind what we do is to make every client feel like a GUEST at their own event. We love making beautiful things. Check out her website https://www.eventsbygoldman.com
Hardyeveryday is a Murfreesboro, TN calligraphy and custom shop! I do everything from wedding goods, to laptop stickers, home decor and prints. We love to work with people and make all their design dreams come true! Check out her website http://www.hardyeveryday.com
Hannah Drake is a stunning photographer with a heart of gold! Check out more of her work at www.instagram.com/hannahdrakephotography