Happy birthday to my Mother-in-Law! She ‘s turning 88! She’s the mom of 6 children, 12 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren. Somehow I never truly appreciated all the work she regularly took on for us all during the holidays until recently when I hosted Thanksgiving. In a side-by-side comparison, there is no comparison! These past 30 years I’ve observed MIL have between 30-40 people crammed into her house for the holiday and then turn around and do it again in a month for Christmas! Amazing!

Coming from my tradition of a smaller nuclear family -one that was able to fit around the dining room table set with china and silver-  holiday celebrations in my husband’s family were an adjustment! Card tables, paper plates, and plastic cups, of course! I know that by the time I am the Granny of my clan, we will be using throw-aways, too!! No matter what, clean up is still a fierce task!

Our Thanksgiving gathering was for 10 people this year,- relatively small- and it went well! The food was delicious and I still plan to create a file of not only recipes but the schedule of prep work for future reference.  I spaced out the preparations over three days leading up to turkey day- which worked well, but I must admit it felt like a forced march, and one I felt couldn’t let up on or I’d fall behind. Maybe it’s the carbs, but I’ve needed a bunch of rest to recuperate!  

It’s a shame that it takes time and experience (read, age) to really see truthfully and to appreciate the many, many sacrifices that others have made for us. As it is, my in-laws are 93 and 88, respectively, and we know that each day with them is a pure gift- a bonus, if you will. We know, and we dread what’s to come, but they don’t! Last night, MIL said out loud that she’s been ready to die for a couple of years now!

I only hope I can love, and serve them well in the days at hand, and truly treasure the time we have. I am striving for a thoughtful, reflective, and appreciative holiday season this year, filled with lots of family time, and good food, of course!

Come to the Table!

Julie