Since none of our extended family will be able to make it to Manteo for Thanksgiving, we have decided to once again host the men who live at Dare Challenge, a nearby residential substance abuse program.
If you weren’t hanging out around Smithellaneous last year at this time, you can go here to read my account of Thanksgiving a year ago when nine men came to our house for dinner. I am including an excerpt of that post below because it sums up so well how my heart feels about the privilege of hosting special men on a special day.
While I can’t speak for Steve, the meal was important for me because it gave me a chance to do something at Thanksgiving for someone else’s son.
I knew that most of those men at our table had a mother somewhere in this country who had set a Thanksgiving table, even as a part of her heart had mourned the fact that the son she loved wasn’t able to be there, that he wasn’t going to get to be in a real home for a real family Thanksgiving.
And so, since I didn’t have my own son to cook for this Thanksgiving, this was my year to pay it forward, to pay it back, to pay it in whatever direction I could find. In short, this was my Thanksgiving to cook for another mother’s Nathan, in the hopes that when she heard the story of where her son had spent Thanksgiving, she would feel her load lighten a little and she could breathe a prayer of thanks that the son she loved so much had received the love she wasn’t able to give in person.
There all sorts of reasons that mothers sat at Thanksgiving tables this year without the presence of the children they loved. Some kids have faraway jobs, some have insufficient finances to travel, some have no time off work, some are away in the military, and some might even possibly be in a drug and alcohol rehab center. And since I’m a long time member of the cancer community, I also know that some of the seats at Thanksgiving tables were empty this year because of the saddest reason of all–a son or daughter didn’t survive their battle with cancer.
There are so very many reasons that people we love go missing from our holiday tables. And that gives us so many more reasons to show acceptance and love to the people we have nearby. Because somewhere, they are being missed. Somewhere, another mother’s Nathan is wishing that her child could be home.
And so now you know what the next few days will be like around the Smith house–we’re getting ready for a big, big day!
I mentioned in the title that I had a helpful Thanksgiving tip to pass along to you, but let me give you a little background first.
Last year at Thanksgiving Steve’s parents were with us and the two of them are a formidable force when it comes to planning, decorating, table setting, cooking, etc. Since I will be cooking a meal for 12 people as the only (adult) woman in the house, I figured that I had better get things as organized as possible and not leave too much for Sarah, Steve and I to do on Thursday.
So I sat down last night with my trusty computer and laid out a little chart to help me visualize the tasks of the next few days. When I got done I thought that maybe a chart would be helpful to you as well so I have included two of them below. The first one has some of my tasks filled in and the second chart is blank so that you can print it off or use it as inspiration to design a chart of your own.
Hope it’s helpful!
Thanksgiving Plan 2012
|Bake corn bread/cube/set out to dry||Make dressing||Bake ham|
|Dice onion and celery for dressing||Bake and slice turkey||Make pineapple casserole|
|Work on centerpiece||Make gravy||Make topping for sweet potato casserole|
|Cube French bread–set it out to dry||Make potatoes||Reheat turkey|
|Make up dry mix for ramen coleslaw||Make pies||Put mashed potatoes in crock pot on low|
|Make rolls||Set table||Prepare relish try|
|Make sweet potato casserole||Thaw pie|
|Go to grocery for last minute items||Set out serving platters, bowls, spoons|
|Make marinade part of ramen cole slaw||Make cake|
|Make sure tablecloth is clean and ironed||Make pumpkin bars|
|Clean out fridge||Make green bean casserole|
|Cut veggies for relish tray|
Miscellaneous Things. (Don’t Have To Be Done A Certain Day.)
Thanksgiving Plan 2012
Miscellaneous Things That Don’t Have To Be Done A Certain Day: