Monday, November 25, 2013

The Mundane, and The Holiday...

It has been a long time since I’ve posted…Mainly because, after baring my soul about things of great importance to me, it seems a little silly to then write that I made a wreath by ripping pages out of an old atlas…which I did. And it was a highlight, though I must admit that pinterest projects are much more about anticipating than executing.

At least, in my case.

But someday I have to write again, and it might as well be now, and I might as well admit that most of life is pretty mundane…

And that’s just fine.

After all, God has us doing things of eternal importance in a world of time with its beginnings and endings. We are seeking everlasting good in the land of the temporal – a holy paradox. Faithfulness in the mundane prepares us for mightiness in the crisis.

So I guess the mundane is of great importance.

And there sure is a lot of it.

This week is Thanksgiving, and that is neither mundane nor silly. I quite like Thanksgiving – the history, the tradition, the family gathering, the exercise of gratefulness. It is a wonderful holiday.

This year, the dinner will be at our house. I think I’ve hosted it about 6 times in the last 12 years…and I must give thanks to Mary Vander Woude who, in the time I was on her catering committee, taught me to WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN, and JUST DO IT – DON’T FRET. I’m not sure what vision I had that caused me to join the catering committee. It was not that one day I would host a dinner for 100+ people…But, if you are on the catering committee, one day you WILL host a dinner for 100+ people. With Mary’s notes, I did it, and didn’t die.

So hosting for 25-35 people is mild compared to that. Still, I have been planning, and checking notes from previous years, while making lists and purchasing, and now preparing. Every year it gets easier, and goes better.

It must be like my Hundred Pie Principle: if you want to make great pies, you just have to make a hundred bad ones first.

I think we’re all relieved that it didn’t take 100 bad Thanksgiving Dinners, though the first few I hosted were blemished by a lot of unnecessary fussing and stressing by me. It’s hard to be thankful when you are mumble-mumbling about the mumble-mumble turkey that isn’t done, and OH NOW WHAT WILL WE DO THANKSGIVING IS RUINED!

Early preparation is key…as is a reasonable expectation of what makes a good Thanksgiving.

Today I diced celery and onions, and am still weeping a little from the experience. The bread for the stuffing is cubed. The turkeys are thawing. Tomorrow cranberry sauce will be made. Wednesday, the brussel sprouts trimmed. The dressing will be assembled. The turkey stuffed and ready for Thursday morning…

In the meantime, I’ll be trying to figure out the best way to place the tables. It’s not like we have dining room that seats 25…We are breaking bread all over the house – but within sight of each other.

It will be a great day…and I will be exhausted afterward. But it will be worth it because we are blessed to have the family gather, for laughs, and visiting, and sharing.

If your occupation in life is to make home, Thanksgiving is the ultimate expression of your vocation. I think that is this holiday’s great appeal. I love to make home, and make people feel at home. And if they feel that way at all during the day, they won’t remember that the turkey wasn’t done on time.

At least, I hope not.

Because I may have about 94 turkeys to go…


Holly said...

I kind of miss those catering days! First time I'd ever had/made "Dutch" potatoes (as Ashleigh calls them!) and we now have them at almost every holiday!
I've hosted my share of Thanksgiving's too, usually with no problems...except for the turkey. One year I dropped it as I was taking it out of the roaster. For the last 5 or so years I've been cooking it in my electric roaster oven. Last year, with the soon to be in-laws, my roaster shut off. I didn't notice until 15 min. before they arrived! We had roast chicken from Safeway and it was still a wonderful meal!!
I hope you have a joyous day, no stress, and a perfectly roasted turkey!

Tami said...

Happy Thanksgiving! I'll miss you this week. I have no doubt that your dinner will be delicious, your table beautiful and the company delightful. Enjoy!

And make the kids do the dishes!

About Me

Needing an outlet for various thoughts rattling in my head, I've created two blogs -- One about my real life ( and one where I can vent. (