Tomorrow will mark the first holiday that Sawyer and I will not be at home with our families for. While we are both a little sad to be away from our families, we’re excited to be spending this time together. Our first holiday meal together seems (at least to me) to mark a special milestone. That being said, I wanted to make this occasion memorable.
I’ll be honest here, I am not much of a cook. Attempting to serve a full meal for Thanksgiving, then, will be a momentous enough occasion to make the day noteworthy (or haunting, depending on how the cooking goes…). However, my father and I are looking forward to spending time on speakerphone with each other as he talks me through some of the family recipes. I have already boiled the cranberries and set them on the counter to cool and it’s feeling more like the holidays already with the apartment smelling like the sugary cranberry sauce that I so enjoy.
Sawyer’s family doesn’t adhere to any holiday traditions (as far as he’s concerned), so my family’s traditions will be carried on in our little apartment. My father’s side of my family has always prepared the Thanksgiving feast with homemade recipes passed down from my grandparents. My father is, as I have mentioned, dedicated to the idea of my carrying on the family tradition when it comes to the food.
A quick trip to Joann’s Fabrics allowed me to create a lovely dual-layer table runner for the occasion. I laid a quick and easy light green burlap beneath a pretty red velvet to add texture and interest to the table. I avoided any expensive accoutrements to spare my nerves when it comes to mixing kittens with hopes of preservation. A quick arrangement of red berry stems and green roses in three eye-catching vases intermingled with a couple of candles and voilà; a simple yet beautiful centerpiece. Not to mention a hand-poured spiced cider candle creates a homey holiday aroma!
In keeping with tradition, my mother has always broken out the Christmas tree on Thanksgiving day. She loves decorating the tree with the whole family together. Sawyer and I have gotten live trees in Christmases past, but with an apartment with a beautiful, rich blue rug, we opted for a 4’ artificial tree this year (which we got for a steal at Michael’s this past week). Tomorrow, Sawyer and I will also be decorating our tree, to honor the family tradition. We have many different holiday decorations to spread throughout the apartment, but we have a special place in our hearts for the Vermont-crafted painted gourd ornaments.
While it’s going to be a full day of food, fun, and memorable moments, and I couldn’t be more excited to celebrate another holiday season with our little family, I cannot forget what is important this holiday. There are hundreds of people fighting for their basic human rights in North Dakota today, tomorrow, and – I expect – through the holidays next month as well. Remember to keep those water protectors in your thoughts, as many of those peaceful protestors have roots tied to an essential role in the birth of this Thanksgiving tradition by sharing the gift of food – and life – to the pilgrims. Give thanks for your gifts: clean water, a roof over our heads, a feast on our tables. And if you can, give back to those who need our support, and who supported us when we needed it most.