Enlarge the circle...Thanksgiving.

I wonder when the change takes place.  Not 'the change.'  That's been over for a long time.  I'm thinking about the holidays.  The holidays stay the same.  Players don't change. But the priorities the players have, do change.

Some friends and I were talking today and we reminisced about traditional Thanksgivings.  This is the day that loves everybody and everybody loves.  It is the best day of the year, in my book.  Nobody is grabbing for gifts. Very few people are whining.  A church service can be very special that day.  And Thanksgiving takes many forms for many people.

I wrote about my Thanksgiving Day after I was married for one year.  I did everything for a huge family dinner (Nov 22 2011) in a very small apartment.  And I never did it again.  But I still loved Thanksgiving.  It just needed to take a different form.

Today, we told brief stories:  the time a dear friend prepped her first turkey and placed the pop-up plug (the 'automatic' timer that tells the cook that the turkey is is ready) upside down in the oven.  That was going to be her saving grace to let her know when that butterball was supposed to be perfect!  Oh well.  Another story was how the whole bag of giblets was cooked inside the turkey, and that's not supposed to happened. Oh well.

And that was then and now is now.  I can't remember when I did a full-on dinner for family and friends.  I suppose it was long before Carl was gone.  He did become an expert at cooking the bird on a barbecue. And each Thanksgiving that's what he did.  Plus we had turkey in the summer with great seasonal sides: smashed potato salad, fresh fruit salad, and summer desserts!

For a few years now, a group of us get together after church, and have turkey from a local deli, made especially for the group.  We make sandwiches (bread from Panera), broccoli cheese soup (from Panera), a homemade cranberry dish, Costco pumpkin pie, and Tucker's ice cream (the best local ice cream parlor).   We shop local.  But for the most part...we gave up cooking for Lent (and mostly forever).  We can play dominoes, or watch football.  Gosh, this sounds like the old folks home...BUT IT'S NOT!

Expanding my circle, Evan and Erin are staying at home in San Diego.  Good, I say to that!  Start your own traditions!  I don't even know what they are doing...but knowing them, it should be fun.  Expanding the circle further, Sutter and Sean face a bit more of a challenge, since T-day is not recognized in NZ.  But Sutter usually figures something out, and a new tradition is ever revealing itself!  This year since they are building their house, I'm quite sure it will involve concrete or pipes (not to eat), but maybe as an accompaniment.

I love giving the gift of Thanksgiving to others, out of my circle.  Knowing that my unknown friends can create a Thanksgiving with turkeys and other foodstuffs given to them by the local food bank makes me warm and cozy. It's never too late.  The workers are so grateful for whatever is donated.  I love the feeling that comes over me.

It's time to think expansively.  Everything that includes more people must also include you.  The simplicity of Thanksgiving is extraordinary.  So nice. So simple. So real.

Live very richly.  Happy Thanksgiving!

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