Grandma gives thanks

“The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.”
― Henry Ward Beecher


In recognition of the Thanksgiving holiday, folks all across the Internet have been posting their 30 days of thanks, listing each day of November something for which they're thankful.

I've not been doing that. Not because I don't have at least 30 things I'm thankful for, but because I don't have the attention span to list those 30 things for 30 days running. I know myself: I'd forget one day then have to make it up the next, only to find myself too busy to post and end up with a week's worth of thanks to share. (For exactly that reason — my crazy short attention span — don't expect to ever see a novel from me either. It's one trait I'm not particularly thankful for.)

I do have so much to be thankful for, though.

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These are a few of my favorite (Thanksgiving) things

What do you love most about Thanksgiving?

Sodahead, an opinion-based community, recently asked its members exactly that, then made a nifty infographic of the answers. Here are some highlights of the results:



The full Sodahead infographic on Thanksgiving favorites can be found here.

Sodahead never asked me about my favorites, but here are a few of them:

  • Tops is spending time with my family. Many years we've taken a trip to South Dakota to spend the holiday with Jim's extended family. Two years ago, our entire family celebrated in the desert, with Megan and Preston hosting. Most years, though, have meant a houseful of people, with extra chairs and table leaves (sometimes extra tables) added in my dining room. This year, for a variety of reasons, will be our smallest Thanksgiving ever. Jim and I will spend it at home, with our youngest and oldest daughters as our only guests. To be honest, I'm kind of looking forward to the intimacy of such a low-key, low-stress gathering.
  • As far as food goes, I must say that mashed potatoes with lots of turkey gravy is one of my all-time favorite foods, and not just at Thanksgiving. But as the nest has emptied and mashing potatoes doesn't happen often around here anymore, I definitely look forward to those made at Thanksgiving.
  • In addition to the mashed potatoes, I truly love my cheesy corn casserole. And pumpkin pie. And this year I'm going to try out a new addition to the dessert selections—a cranberry-apple cobbler which will likely become a fast favorite.
  • Favorite things to do on Thanksgiving, other than eating? I particularly enjoy baking the day before. And on Thanksgiving day, I used to enjoy watching bits and pieces of the parades with my little girls. Not anymore, as my little girls are now big and no longer around at parade time. I do still love watching the performance of The Rockettes in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade—if I remember to turn on the TV in time.
  • I also love gathering around the table and giving thanks before the meal. We always say grace at dinner in my house, but I get especially verklempt when doing so on Thanksgiving. (Sheesh...I'm getting verklempt and teary just writing this.) Because every year, no matter how freakin' difficult the year has been—and let me tell ya, this last one has been a doozy beyond compare—there is so, so much I'm thankful for, so many blessings that make my life full in ways I never imagined, ways that make up for those not-so-blessed moments. I love giving thanks for those...and listening to what others around the table are thankful for, too. One good thing about this year's smaller gathering: The thank yous and amens should be completed before the food has gotten cold.
  • A new favorite: Last year, Jim and I established a Thanksgiving tradition all our own. With there typically being so many pies to choose from after Thanksgiving dinner, we decided last Thanksgiving morning that our breakfast should be the pumpkin pie I had made. I'm pretty sure pumpkin pie has never tasted sweeter. I look forward to us doing that again this year.
  • This year we'll try another new activity: going to a movie—Lincoln—after stuffing our tummies with turkey and trimmings.

Other things I love about Thanksgiving: a fire in the fireplace, delectable scents wafting through the house from early morning til late at night, the stillness of the holiday as work and worries of the everyday are put on hold.

Bottom line: I love pretty much every little thing about Thanksgiving. Well, everything except getting the leftover turkey off the bone and bagged up for leftovers.

Oh! Speaking of leftovers, I also love turkey sandwiches the next day, with lots of salt and mayo (not Miracle Whip!).

Today's question:

What are a few of your favorite Thanksgiving things?