Monday, November 26, 2012


There's a shift that happens right about now with me.  I seriously get into creating this warm and cozy home filled with food and other things made with our hands.  Yeah, I get a serious bug around Thanksgiving to create things that borders on crazy or at least renewed purpose!

I'm trying to keep it real with the kids.  I'm trying to keep us all focused on the true meaning of the season and not get swept away with all that other stuff.  Most mornings you'll find us all huddled around the kitchen table with paint or clay and that, to me, is exactly where I care to spend my time.

I'm still trying to define for myself what "the holidays" mean to us.  I think that when two people come together and a family is made, there's much to blend, compromise and create.  It's always a work in progress no matter how you slice it.

I love Solomon's freckles!
It wasn't until this Thanksgiving that I really embraced the responsibility wholeheartedly of creating a meal and the traditions that we want to pass on to my kids.  It's been muddy in the past but it's becoming more clear to us what defines the holidays in our family.  I'm feeling more like a grown up!

Kabocha squash I used for pie.
Our meal was very simple this year.  We made turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.  Everything was delicious (so I've been told!) and the kids helped out with the preparation which is as much a part of the tradition as anything.  We gotta pass on that knowledge!

We set the table with my great grandma's wedding china, our tie dyed napkins and a beautifully embroidered table cloth that a friend gave us.  We said what we were thankful for, enjoyed our meal and went for a walk afterwards in the desert behind our house. It was as perfect really as any day could be.

My kids know that Thanksgiving means dusting off the pretty dishes and being together to make a special meal.  It can be as simple as that really.  And of course practicing gratitude which is as important as the pumpkin pie.

Our family has, weather permitting, cut down our own tree for almost 9 years now.  It's what the kids know and it's how they mark the passing of time.  That rhythm that feels comfortable to them, like breathing.  It's not always been easy (crying babies, slippery roads and cold hands).  We don't always agree on the perfect tree either but every time we get home and start decorating it, their fully invested into the process. We talk about previous years with fondness.

Creating these traditions with my family has been a very healing process for me.

Hot chai with milk and honey!

I am grateful for you all and hope that you had a successful Thanksgiving (if you celebrate it) filled with the traditions that are meaningful to you!

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