I heard recently the official start of the Christmas season is now November 1st. Not sure how official it is, but the retail industry has adopted it as standard operating procedure. I get it. I’m in marketing I know the ‘launch’ of a campaign is crucial to success. The end of the fiscal year is important to finish strong, small and large business alike. So businesses will capitalize on the best shopping season of them all, Christmas. The longer they can spread out this season the better. This certainly doesn’t mean Thanksgiving is non essential!
There is something to be said about a day we can sit around the table, stop, and be thankful. I found a great article on the proclamations of Thanksgiving in America. George Washington declared the national holiday to give thanks to God for their freedom and blessings. Abraham Lincoln, in the midst of the civil war, reminded everyone near and far to remember the Thanksgiving holiday. He encouraged all to observe that year and every year, the last Thursday of November, as a day of praise to God. In the aftermath of war or the angst of social unrest, the need to stop and come together, and remember what truly matters was vital to that time. Thus it is certainly needed now at this time and every year.
Most of us try hard to get our family to sit at the dinner table on a regular basis. Between all the activities and work responsibilities a family has on their calendar, sitting down to a meal is a chore in itself. In my house it’s nearly impossible most days of the week. Not to mention technology at our fingertips that prevents us from looking up! Forget inviting friends over, food and house prep, who has time for that! Excuses loom, “the house isn’t ready for visitors,” “I have to decorate the table to impress,” and “How do I entertain the kids?” These are the same excuses most give around Thanksgiving also. I was reading The Magnolia Journal, and have to quote Joanna Gaines here. “Your home need not be perfect, just available.” (simplicity at its finest!)
That statement reminds me of my childhood memories of Thanksgiving Day and gathering around the table. It involved a large Italian extended family, loud and lovely in a small space. The shotgun houses in New Orleans were perfect for the combination of multiple tables in one long room. Yes we got everyone in one room, until my generation grew up. Everyone would bring food to fill the Menu. I think if we wrote it out we would probably realize we had too much food, but leftovers are always great! Elbow to elbow, passing down dish after dish we would laugh and get to know each other again. A family football game on the neutral ground (a grass median in the middle of the street that is 3 times bigger than what your imagining) would bring everyone outside to watch or play. Only after that would we have room to partake in the spread of desserts.
It was not perfect, and the atmosphere would never be found on a cover of a magazine, but it’s the greatest memories of our family gatherings. If you can make your table ‘magazine cover’ worthy at your home, please do so and invite all those you are thankful for in your life. Decorating the table is my favorite part! What a great time to also get to know your neighbors who aren’t hosting family in town. For those of you without the decorating love or think it’s not in your budget, I have gathered a few great articles/ideas that can help you make a meaningful and easy dining experience. Link: The Case for Thanksgiving. Oh, and a potluck solves the complete meal preparation!
This one is my favorite. Keeping everyone at the dinner table longer is always the best. It is also something you can contribute to the meal when you’re traveling from a long distance. She has several different options to implement the conversation starters. The idea of everyone answering the question is great. My family gathering may be too big for that, so we might pick five to answer the longer ones.
The most important argument for Thanksgiving, is being able to gather around the table with friends and family. Everyone bring food to share, and come prepared to fellowship and be thankful. Gathering around the dining table will make the greatest transformation to your space.
~gather transform gain
gina t graham
Home Staging and Redesign for Jacksonville, FL.
"Sometimes excellent is not a good enough word. I recommend Gina to everyone who is selling their home and for setting up the next home they buy." -Kit, staging client.