We are going to our oldest son’s for Thanksgiving dinner.  We will be joining our son’s family including this wife and two twin daughters now three and a half; his wife’s parents and their two adult children, a grandchild and her new husband and their young baby girl; our youngest son and his partner; along with my brother and his wife who live with us. 

Recently, we have been able to be together for many of the holidays and our son and his wife are the customary host and hostess.  When my mother was still with us, she would come too.  Soon Christmas will be here, and my husband’s mother is coming from Cincinnati and will be joining the group.  Last year, our son’s partner’s family came to DC from Syracuse for a holiday visit and we all were together in their home. 

When I think of the prospect of all of us coming together, I now know how it will usually go:  there will be a standard assortment of delicious food:  a great fresh fruit salad and home-baked pies coming from my daughter-in-law’s mother; a honey-baked ham, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and vegetables prepared by our son and his wife; we’ll bring the turkey and trimmings and often bring along some snack foods as well. 

The turkey is in the oven now and has been for more than two hours.  Soon the wonderful smell will fill our home.  Our son and his partner are bringing a corn dish, a filipino dish, and the hot rolls.  Something new, the filipino dish. 

Just last weekend we celebrated the wedding of our son’s niece and her husband and there was a reception at our son’s home.  So here they are just four days later having another large gathering. Lots of hard work and preparation.  

Such events are the extraordinary blessings of life.  Smiling faces.  Peace.   Prosperity enough to provide basic needs and security.  Kinship.  Kindness.  It has been seven years now that we have been coming together for these events.  Friendships have grown.  Pets have come and gone and share in the pleasures of these days.  Grandchildren, of course, bring peels of laughter and squeals of discomfort when a toy is misplaced or a nap is in order. 

I am thankful for this time in my life, for the sharing, for the regularity, for the work and effort given by each person so that we can come together.

May the Lord watch
and keep you and your loved ones
safe, warm, and happy
this holiday season
and always.