How We Gave Thanks

I hope everyone who celebrated Thanksgiving last week had a wonderful time with family and friends! We hosted for the first time in our new home with my mom, step-dad and aunt and uncle. It was a  small gathering compared to what we are used to, but it was a great time overall. Not stressful or hurried. Just peaceful and filled with good food, kindness, laughter and joy.

The kids were very excited to wake up and watch the parade. A tradition I have always enjoyed. Even if I don’t fully watch it, I like it on in the background. Hazel and Owen love the balloons. So much so that the night before we decided to make a parade banner with photographic images from parades past. We found our favorites online and put them together to display on our fireplace.
I decorated the fireplace mantel in our back room, which I shared a couple of weeks ago, and then added a folding table set up for the appetizers.
My mom made so many fun Thanksgiving themed foods that I couldn’t resist photographing them all. She found most of the ideas through Pinterest and Facebook.
I decorated, all around the house, with artwork Hazel and Owen made at school and home from the past few years.
My mom made a beautiful bread cornucopia filled with fruits like grapes, pomegranates and blackberries. She also made a vegetable platter with French onion dip in the shape of a turkey. And the kids’ favorite: “kettle corn on the cob.”
Hazel was very eager to help make Thanksgiving decorations this year. She was busy making them all by herself…like this paper plate turkey. She came up with it all on her own and even wrote “Gobl, Gobl” on it. So cute.
She also collected oak leaves one day after school and then displayed them all over the house.
My mom made some spice cake bars with frosting on top, then had the kids decorate them with candy. I think they were supposed to end up looking like turkeys but the kids had other plans. I think they were stuck on Halloween after we made similar monster cupcakes. I heard them discussing “turkey graveyards” and “turkey zombies” as they were making these. Interesting.
Our actual Thanksgiving table setting was fairly simple. Hazel wrote everyone’s names on oak leaves, we had plain white plates mixed with polkadot ones, wine glasses (the kids were so excited to drink egg nog out of these), our every day silverware and paper napkins. Not fancy by any means, but family friendly and fun.
At the last minute, I decided to put up a large sheet of newsprint where we could all write what we were thankful for. The kids loved it and insisted everyone participate!
I’m definitely thankful for those cuties, who bring so much joy into my life everyday!
The house never got perfectly cleaned or organized before guests arrived. Kid and baby toys were everywhere. Blankets and throw pillows weren’t “just so” on the couches and chairs. The floors were sticky where messes had been made the day before. Books and papers were strewn about as they typically are.
Our home was lived in…and I welcomed my guests in with open arms, unashamed. Something that I often struggle with.
But that day, I was actually able to focus on what really mattered: the people who gathered around the table. The faces of those we love who were with us to celebrate, laugh, tell stories.
The younger generation teaching the older generation what they know about “old school” Nintendo.
The older generation teaching the younger what they remembered from Thanksgiving parades past.
Baby Violet being passed from relative to relative bringing a smile to each one’s face. 

Even though they may not be able to remember the details years from now, I hope the traditions stay in my children’s hearts forever. And I know the memories will stay in mine.

I hope you were blessed the same!
Till next time…
~Alice W.
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  • NanaDiana

    What a wonderful, wonderful holiday with friends. I can remember stressing for so many years if things weren't just perfect when people showed up….as if they were coming to see perfection.

    Your children are beautiful and your meal and table look just great. God bless your sweet family. xo Diana

  • Elaine Foley

    Looks like it was a wonderfully cozy and relaxed Thanksgiving with those closest to your heart. I love the spice bars decorated by your kids and your Mom's creations are impressive. Nice to create new traditions in your new home.