So, how are you doing during this busy holiday season? Had your fill of Christmas movies yet? Maybe you’re living a life that’s Instagram worthy. I see you over there crushing the matching pj pics. Are your presents perfectly paired with every single family member—and the neighbors, hairdresser, teachers, and letter carrier? Yes? Well…bless your heart.
Because I’m over here limping across the finish line.
Friends, Thanksgiving about did me in.
At the end of September, my family and I got Covid. Mine turned into bronchitis. I always was an over-achiever. Four prescriptions later, including two rounds of some of it, I was able to host Thanksgiving.
I hadn’t really planned to cook. My son and his new bride (yes, there was a wedding in our family this Fall) went to her family’s house, and so I toyed with the idea of going out of town. Taking a nice mini vacation to, say, the Amish country or something. But, as the day drew near, I was overcome with the reality that the rest of the family would be scattered. Visions of them eating frozen turkey dinners on divided plastic plates heated in a microwave haunted me, so I flew into hostess mode and filled my grocery cart like a boss. When you’ve put together 39 Thanksgivings from scratch, what’s one more, right?
What could go wrong?
Thanksgiving carnage, that’s what.
It all started when I forgot to cook the beans. Every year I cook green beans from our garden, and I totally forgot to put them on. I hurriedly set the pot up and got them going, and that made me feel frazzled. As I assembled the sweet potato casserole. I was feeling kinda proud, to be honest, because I had added pecans that I had candied myself. All I had to do was brown the marshmallows, then place the dish on the warmer.
My sister was the first one to notice the smoke. Boiling out of the oven vent, it looked like a scene from Backdraft as I opened my oven. Actual flames licked the inside of my stove. Charred bits of marshmallow flew all over the kitchen as I beat the daylights, and fire, out of the dish. I would not be defeated; after all, I had plenty of marshmallows and pecans, and it was now about so much more than just a side dish.
Everything was going well again, cross ventilation worked, and the house just smelled like…a cookout.
All that was left was to carve the turkey that had been resting on the stove, having been cooked while the Rockettes were dancing around.
All I can remember was throwing the knife against the backsplash after I felt the blade against my skin.
You know how it feels when you hurt yourself so badly that you’re afraid to look. Yeah. That was what it was like.
Someone went to ask my husband to bring a band aid. I knew it was going to take way more than one.
Heavily steri-stripped and splinted, Thanksgiving dinner continued. Neither fire nor blood is going to stop this family from gathering around the table in humble gratitude.
Because Thanksgiving is a time to pause and reflect on everything we have to be thankful for; and for the Christian, that means Jesus. Thanksgiving, for me, postures my heart so I can anticipate celebrating the birth of my Savior. And no amount of chaos, confusion, or carnage is going to take that away.
Jesus came to heal the world, and He is the Great Physician. I experienced His healing this year, first from Covid, then my other ailments. I watched as my finger healed, an act designed by God, so that our bodies will be restored so we can continue to serve Him. But I have also experienced the healing that took place when He forgave my sins, when I claimed Him as my own, and I accepted His free gift of salvation.
I pray today you can experience the peace and healing that comes through a relationship with Jesus.
I’m hosting Christmas, too. But relax, I’ve ordered the ham, a smoked turkey, and some other goodies. I plan to tie some bows and watch some movies, where it’s nice and safe. Merry Christmas!