Thursday, November 22
I got up, made myself a cup of tea and started dialing away. First, I called my sister. We chatted briefly, as she was on her way out of the house for her Thanksgiving dinner at a friend’s house. Next, I called my college best friend, Meg. We talked for about an hour. It was nice to catch up, to hear her voice. She told me that since she had been working for a client, privately teaching an eight year old boy, her husband quit his job in the restaurant business to stay home with their infant son. I thought that was incredibly modern and commendable. We talked about how many fathers miss out on their childrens’ lives, and how beneficial it is for both he and their son to create such a solid father-son foundation. I was really impressed by his decision to do that. When we hung up, I called my friends Cindy and Alex and left voice mail messages. I then talked to my parents for about a half hour or so. I planned on calling my cousins later, which, sadly, I didn’t get around to.
After I got off of the phone with my mother, I ran to the grocery store to pick up extra cranberries and green beans, and a bottle of Thurgau Müller wine by a local producer, Chateau Benoit. I got home and made the second batch of cranberry sauce, prepped the green beans to take with me to dinner, including peeling an orange and chopping up chives. After I gathered everything I would bring to my Thanksgiving hosts’ house, I went to the gym to run a couple of miles.
A couple hours later, Kerry came over, we loaded up the car and drove to Dundee. We entered a festive house with beautiful Thanksgiving holiday details – sparkling pumpkin décor, tapered candles sprung from small gourds, and the aromas of wonderful hors d’oeuvres. I gave each of our hosts children a small gift; for their nearly four-year-old son, Caleb, a spider man action figure and a hot wheels car with all the bells and whistles; for their infant daughter a Baby Einstein musical stuffed dragon. I poured a glass of bubbly and enjoyed some of the festive, savory fare. It was a relaxed evening of chatting and nibbling. When we sat down for dinner, the hostess went on to share her thankfulness for each person sitting around the table. They graciously prepared gluten-free stuffing for me, and I made a small cup of corn-starch based gravy. Dinner was fantastic.
After, we played Thanksgiving Bingo. Each guest brought four kitchy gifts in the $2-$4 range. It was a blast taking turns calling bingo, wearing crazy hats and a fro wig. Some of the gifts included a blinking Rudolph nose, margarita shaped sunglasses, a Mr. T action figure, High School Musical temporary tattoos, a Curious George hat, and so one. It was the highlight of the evening, filled with laughter.
It was a perfect way to end a holiday. It’s hard to be apart from my family on Thanksgiving day, but if I’m going to celebrate with friends, I could have asked for a more special day. I realized I had a lot to be thankful for. But today isn’t the only day I reflect on this and feel gratitude. I try to feel gratitude each day. My work this year is to find love, in all its forms, and the place to begin is cultivating self love. You must master feeling gratitude in order to feel and experience self love. Once it starts there, love manifests with a domino effect. The gratitude and love within will flow forth.