Thanksgiving is already next week, and I don’t know about you – but I am ready to cozy up at home and slow down. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday (besides when I can be HOME around Christmas) because of the little traditions Eric and I have built into it: watching the parade that morning while I snuggle our pups, baking/cooking thanksgiving dinner together later, watching football & eating a ton of snacks, drinking eggnog and watching Trains, Planes, & Automobiles, decorating for Christmas, and of course starting a Christmas movie marathon that will carry into my favorite month: December. It’s never easy being so many miles away from family – especially right now – but always during special holidays. Yet, I am thankful we have each other.
My heart has gotten heavier and heavier as the year has gone on and I am sure many of you can relate. How do we celebrate our blessings when it hurts so deeply to see and feel the lack of love, grace, and kindness in every day life? How do we see beauty in the changes of the seasons when the beauty of individuals that America so proudly boasts has been overlooked simply because one’s beliefs or views don’t meet another’s? How do we remain thankful when there is so much hate and division so close to home? The heartaches, unrest, and loss that has come this year is real. It has affected every aspect of my life and my loved ones lives, and the reality we are living in can often overtake me. 2020 has been harsh in many ways.
But, what I’ve come to find out in 2020 is — I am weak. He is strong. I worry. He is in control. I fear tomorrow. He holds tomorrow. I ache with the loss of loved ones. He has promised Heaven. I worry about the future. He sees the big picture. I think I know what’s best. He actually knows what’s best. I don’t understand “why.” He is omniscient. I can’t believe what’s happening. He has planned my entire path already. I want to fall apart, but He is with me, and I can rest and find peace in that.
So this Thanksgiving – yes – I will continue to cherish our traditions and be thankful for the many tangible “gifts” He has given this year, but I will also be praising God with thanksgiving for the many ways He has shown me and my heavy heart that He is near.
Whether you’re used to hosting Thanksgiving, or – like me – are just cooking for two, Thanksgiving will always be a time for what I love most: looking at the blessings of the past year and eating good food. I know there are all sorts of skeptical people out there with hot takes on Thanksgiving foods, but I am here for almost all of it (minus cranberries)! And, in case you’re cooking for only 2 people this year, or a small family, I decided to share my menu and recipes!
SHOP THE LOOK:
I definitely stick with basic and traditional Thanksgiving foods. All of my recipes are the same ones my mom always made when I was growing up (except for the gravy recipe – it was given to me by my friend Jennifer on IG). There’ll always be turkey (white for E and dark for me), stuffing, green bean cassarole, mashed potatoes & gravy, dinner rolls, and of course pumpkin pie!
The Shopping List
- Small turkey (5-6 lbs. or turkey roast)
- Dinner rolls from the bakery
- 2 bunches of celery stalks
- 4 small onions
- 2-3 potatoes
- 1 box of chicken stock (at least 16 oz)
- 2 loaves of white bread
- 2 cans of french-cut green beans
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- french fried crispy onions
- 1 16 oz can solid pumpkin
- 1 13 oz can evaporated milk
- frozen pie crust (or make your own!)
- heavy whipping cream
- cool whip (for pie)
Check your pantry to make sure you have: onion powder, garlic powder, sage, rosemary, thyme, sugar, flour, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.
Recipe Credit: Food Network
Recipe Credit: All Recipes
On his 40th birthday a month before my dad passed, he wrote to each of us kids. I cherished that card as a 12 year old, and the verse I dwell on still today for anything that comes my way is the same verse he left me at the bottom of his letter:
“Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” – I Thessalonians 5:16-18
May we all choose to see the blessings of our lives, and how God has been walking beside us all along. He won’t be leaving us now.
I wish you a beautiful. special Thanksgiving –