Monday, November 24, 2008
The Thanksgiving that keeps on giving
In November of last year, I wrote about the fabulous Thanksgiving feast we had been experiencing with church family for, then, 6 years. I wrote of how I had come reluctantly to the idea of Thanksgiving "at church" but had found the blessings of breaking bread together as such a joyous event that after the first year, I never looked back or thought of any other kind of event.
This year with my husband retiring as Rector of the parish, we have voluntarily (a custom) been attending "other" churches in the community in order for the parish to grow accustomed to #1. the idea of a new rector, and #2. the actuality of a new rector, along with his family recruited, hired and in place.
We have been absent but, of course, not unaware of how the parish is progressing, the new family's arrival, changes taking place in worship and scheduling, etc. When the idea and tradition of the Thanksgiving feast being once more in the parish hall was mentioned in the parish newsletter and in subsequent announcements, there seemed to be little interest in continuing the custom and certainly no one was prepared to come forward, cook the turkey, etc. The turkey was always pretty easy to pull off - it was the stupendous side dishes that needed to be provided by the feast participants that was on unsteady legs.....maybe, maybe not?
So, with the worst in mind, my middle of the night thoughts went to many folks who would NOT have a communal feast without the custom continuing. Middle of the night thoughts again - I thought perhaps we could have those particular folks here in our home. It would seem natural as we had eaten together for 7 years and if no one wanted to do it anymore at the church, well we would start a new tradition. My husband suggested, in the light of day, of course, to me that IF the tradition was important it would be continued and if not, it wasn't up to me to "save the day."
Well, guess what! They have a bigger than ever feast attendance planned. Folks will have a wonderful time, God's bounty will be shared and we are free to make our own plans with family and friends "somewhere else."
I've written about giving up martyrs' crowns here before and I do pretty well most of the time. But, I do admit my grand gestures, or at least thinking of them, to "save the day" seem ever so clear when I am dreaming them up. My small angst about "not being missed".....I think that's human - now's the time you should all be nodding yes, thank you. But my husband's steadfastness in assuring me that Thanksgiving will keep on giving even without my able assistance is sound advice. But just to be sure that I do "save the day" in somebody's house I will arrive carrying food, wine, and who knows what:) The day won't need saving but I want to prepared, just in case!
In the meantime, I wish you, to whom it is appropriate, a grand tradition this coming weekend of a Happy Thanksgiving .....and letting you know I've re-packed my martyr's crown into a deep, dark closet and marked it - "only to be used in extraordinary cases of emergency:)
Photo - SS