Sara: Perhaps one of the best holidays of all-time is Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving. I love the smell of turkey in the oven, fresh rolls, mashed potatoes and gravy, homemade pie, and all the trimmings. I love time together with friends and family and pausing as an individual, family, and nation to thank God for all the blessings He has bestowed upon us.
Justin: Including football!
Sara: And, thankfully, Thanksgiving (with the exception of Black Friday) has yet to become as commercialized as Christmas. However, my mom, sister, and I do have some great Black Friday memories of shopping together.
Justin: There’s nothing I want badly enough to stand outside in the cold all night just to save 99 cents!
Sara: We’ve never stood outside all night to buy anything!
This holiday season, Justin and I are beginning our holiday traditions for the first time together as a married couple. For the foreseeable future, or at least until we get a house, I doubt Justin and I will be hosting the big family gatherings I remember from my youth. These gatherings had at least fifteen people, and even though Justin and I are married, we still manage to qualify for the “kids” table.
Last week, we saw a special at the grocery store–if you buy a ham, you get a free turkey. So Justin and I decided to make a turkey together before celebrating with the extended family.
As I talked to my colleagues the day we had slated to cook the turkey, I jokingly called this “our pre-Thanksgiving.” The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea of Justin and me, as a new family, gathering together and being thankful for the many blessings God has bestowed upon us. So, that night, I determined we’d have our own little impromptu thanksgiving.
Sure, it was impromptu! We may have overcooked the first turkey either of us had ever made, had stir fry instead of Mom’s great green bean casserole, and had just ice cream for dessert, but it was fun to cook together.
Justin: It was the start of a great new tradition. Of course, I am all for having turkey more often! And I can never get enough mashed potatoes!
Sara: But the important thing, in my eyes, was the fact we were together. We intentionally took time out from our busy schedules to simply be – be grateful for all the blessings of the past year. Our marriage, great families, and a new niece (my goddaughter) top the list of our gratefulness.
This Tuesday, we continued our tradition of sharing a Thanksgiving dinner with the students at the Newman Center at Justin’s university. It was great to take time out of our busy schedules to help make the students feel at home away from their families and celebrate our blessings, just as we do each week at Mass. It was really cool to see how the church can be a family too.
As our Thanksgiving trip inches closer, Justin and I are so excited to see extended family and friends. If we are lucky, perhaps we’ll even have some snow for Thanksgiving!
All in all, I was so happy Justin and I took the time to celebrate together. Hopefully, next year I’ll have this whole “Thanksgiving” thing down a bit better. Perhaps with some more advance notice, we’ll have some more traditional sides and a pie to complete our Thanksgiving meal.