The crescendo of chaos that began back in September is quickly approaching it’s highest peak. Each year the hectic-ness of this busy birthday/Halloween/Thanksgiving/Christmas season causes me to search for better ways to manage this 4 month long series of celebrations. The world bombards us with pictures of perfect families gathered around themed birthday celebrations, elaborate costumes, beautifully decorated Thanksgiving tables, and Christmas trees surrounded by packages being opened by people in matching pajamas sipping cocoa. And each year, in an effort to achieve “perfection” I find myself seeking a better plan to make “perfection” happen through all of this celebrating. It is exhausting and somewhere about now I begin to scoff at the celebrating and start longing for the quiet days of snowy, cold, BORING January.
So this year, instead of a new plan to create the world’s image of the perfect celebration, my plan is to fill my heart with the perfect celebration attitude. Because through all of my organized plans of the past, I still found myself stressed, tired, ready for it all to be over, and filled with a bad attitude.
Taking time to be thankful is the first step in a new attitude. “Thank you, Lord, for a warm bed and a few hours rest.” “Thank you, Lord, for two feet that carry me through my day.” “Thank you, Lord, for the heat that keeps me warm on these cold days.” If we begin to recognize the simple things around us that make each day a little more comfortable and give thanks for them then, without fail, our attitude will improve. And a better attitude is always joyfully-contagious! From the simple act of giving thanks, our time spent each day, and the people we spend it with each day, can be changed for the better.
With this new plan, I am finding that Thanksgiving is the most important holiday of this busy season. It is our chance to stop and take a breath before getting on the speeding Christmas train of parties, shopping, baking, decorating, wrapping and mailing. It is a chance to “start off on the right foot” filling our hearts up with gratitude will help us to respond in kindness during those crowded days at the mall, or in gentleness toward our children when they change their Christmas list for the 100th time, or with peace as we attend celebrations with people that are difficult to love.
On this Thanksgiving day, we are grateful to be spending time with my family and Dear Husband’s family. We will have lunch with one and dessert with the other. One recipe that I make to share at our meal almost every year is Copper Carrots. This recipe comes from my Aunt Bertha. I have fond memories of many Thanksgivings spent with Aunt Bertha and Uncle Keith. Bertha loved to cook and her tables were filled to over-flowing with deliciously and lovingly prepared food. God blessed her with the love of feeding people and through her, our family Thanksgivings and lives were blessed.
Copper Carrots Recipe
2 pound Carrots, 1 med Onion, 2 med Peppers
Peel and slice carrots, peppers, and onions. Cook carrots until tender. Cool. Alternate layers of carrots, onions and peppers. Mix sauce and pour over vegetables. Let stand over night.
1 can Tomato Soup, 1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce, 3/4 c Vinegar, 1/2 c Salad Oil, 1 c Sugar, 1 tsp Mustard
I hope your hearts on this Thanksgiving and all your days ahead are “perfectly” filled with gratitude, and together we can create a new picture perfect holiday, pictures filled not with things, but with contagious-joy and love for the world exactly as it is around us.
In all things, give thanks.
Peace of the Lord be with you all.