I always love hearing about people’s family traditions for Thanksgiving. How they meet up with their entire extended family for dinner; watch football or the first Christmas movies of the season; or even head out in the dark of night for the best Black Friday sales.
But I’ve always thought that my family had the best – and possibly quirkiest – traditions for Thanksgiving.
For as long as I can remember, Thanksgiving was at my house. There was never any traveling to various homes to share in the traditional feast – we stayed home and my grandparents (and sometimes one of my cousins) would join us for a few days. At first, my mom did all the cooking but gradually my sister and I took over dishes, one at a time, until, one year, we were suddenly doing everything from the planning to the cooking. And we liked it like that.
But the most important part of our Thanksgiving tradition was – is – the tablecloth.
There’s nothing really fancy about our tablecloth – actually, it’s just a white sheet. Or, at least it was the first year. Now that sheet is covered in words of thankfulness and signs of growing appreciation for life and all that comes with it – along with its fair share of stains, of course. Now that sheet is a written record of Thanksgivings past and all the gratitude shown on those days. It shows the silliness of childhood as we covered the cloth in words of gratitude for ham and pie and some of the most random doodled images we could think of. It shows the simplicity of gratitude for the little things like napkins and dishwashers (thought I think Grandma might have been referring to Grandpa when she wrote that). It shows the maturity of thanking God for his great gift of joy.
But most importantly, it shows the object of our thanks. Just as the tablecloth is covered in permanent reminders of years past, the object of our gratitude – God – does not forget the gratitude we show him.
This year was the first time in six years that my family has all been together for Thanksgiving at our house; the first time in six years that we have used the tablecloth. And just as God never forgets the gratitude we show him we must not forget the blessings He has given to us each day.
This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for a God who provides, Jehovah-jireh. Though I still have over $9000 to raise in the next month, I will trust in the Lord who provides.