For some people, there is nothing that strikes fear into the heart faster than the thought of having to cook Thanksgiving dinner for the in-laws! I fear a few things, but cooking is not one of them, so even though we had just moved into our new house, I was eager to impress my relatives with my decorating skills, hand-sewn drapes, and a wonderful holiday feast.
For a month I’d prepped and planned out the entire menu, and I enlisted the help of my kids, who were excited to chip in any way they could.
One by one, I assigned each of them a task and outlined a detailed set of instructions to make sure nothing was missed. (Thank God my mom was around to help take care of my newborn!) The older kids paraded in and out of the kitchen completing their assignments as I worked endlessly to make sure that I had every dish in the works.
I’m from the south so a typical menu consists of sweet potatoes, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, squash casserole, corn salad, yeast rolls, cornbread dressing, ham, and turkey along with various deserts. I mean I covered every single item!
Typically while the food is cooking our tradition is to read a holiday book on thankfulness, something like The Berenstain Bears Give Thanks or The Berenstain Bears Thanksgiving Blessings, to explain the meaning of Thanksgiving. This year I’m also looking forward to reading with my kids the new book, Mary’s First Thanksgiving, about an immigrant child who struggles with adapting to her new life in America but learns to identify with the Pilgrim’s struggles .
Well, my struggles are pale in comparison, but on this Thanksgiving, my debut year of cooking for my in-laws in the new house, I forgot one key, important dish.
That’s right, the turkey!
In all the hustle and bustle, it had not dawned on me, although beautifully stuffed and prepped, that my turkey had not made it to the oven!
Can you imagine such a beautiful Thanksgiving spread without the main attraction? I was had!
Of course, we all had a great laugh around the table, and all things considered, we had more than enough to eat! I mean did I really need a ham and a turkey? It still didn’t relieve the frustration at the moment or change the fact that turkey would be served the day after Thanksgiving instead of that day.
In teaching our kids to be thankful, we can often try excessive measures.
It’s easy to be thankful when you have more than enough, but that Thanksgiving, me and my kids learned that true gratitude is when we offer thanks to God in all circumstances. Having enough doesn’t always equal having more.
* * *
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)
Join the Conversation
Have you ever messed up a holiday dinner? What did you do and what did you learn from it? We’d love to hear your Thanksgiving disaster stories on our blog today!