• Post category:Family / Insight


For the past few years, I’ve made a complete Thanksgiving dinner at our house before we celebrate with extended family. It’s the one time each year we get out the china, silver and Waterford crystal and eat by candlelight in the dining room. It takes all day to prepare the turkey, dressing, side dishes and pumpkin pie and it’s always been one of my favorite times of the holiday season.

This year was different. My work schedule didn’t allow the time to make the dinner, but we were not willing to give up the special family evening. So instead of making turkey and dressing, I made a reservation at one of our favorite east Memphis spots, The Grove Grill. They have this cozy private dining room that was perfect for the six of us: Jim and me, our girls and their long-time boyfriends.

Part of our tradition at the table is a time of sharing the things we’re thankful for, but this year the cliche, “I’m thankful for my family and friends” answers wouldn’t do. So as our appetizers were served, I gave notice: no generic answers this year. Instead we would express to each person, individually, the things we’re thankful for about them.

I thought the younger folks would roll their eyes at my corny suggestion; instead, everyone shared heartfelt and meaningful sentiments, laced with laughter and a few tears. Things we probably wouldn’t have said to one another without the prompting of corny old Mom.

Sometimes we don’t share those thoughts as readily as we should; we take for granted the ones we should treasure and appreciate the most.

Here’s a challenge for this holiday season: sit around a table with those you love. No TV, no cell phones, no distractions, just eye contact. Say the unsaid, share the thoughts that have remained unexpressed for the sake of pride or the fear of awkwardness. Above all gifts, let the warmth of love light your holiday season.

What’s your favorite holiday tradition?

leave a reply