Every year at our family’s Thanksgiving dinner, invariably the time comes to go around the table, sharing with each other what we are most thankful for. Over the years this process has brought groans and eyerolling from the crowd (who are probably a little nervous at public speaking, even in front of family), but in recent times – with the addition of small children to the mix – ooos and ahhhhs at the adorable things that children are thankful for.
This year, Rich and I get to be the grownups and host the Thanksgiving meal. With a good mix of family and friends, we are planning for a relaxing day with plenty of turkey (both fried and roasted) and football (both on the television and in the backyard). As hostess, I’m already nervous about what to say I’m most thankful for. I’ve imposed on myself the role of a hostess that is gracious and eloquent, with one kosher turkey in the backyard fryer and one in the oven. Think Dixie Carter, Bubbe, and Martha Stewart all rolled into one.
Every time I try to formulate my grand speech, I think of the extraordinary blessings I enjoy (which are too many to name). However, my mind keeps turning to the small mercies of everyday life that sometimes go unnoticed around the Thanksgiving table. The color of the morning sky just before sunrise. The beauty of genuine, spontaneous laughter. Chores done without asking. The purity of sleeping children, worn out from an honest day’s work and play. So instead of shooting for the kind of Thanksgiving list that leaves the crowd in tears, this year my goal is to not forget the millions of little things that make up the beauty of life. Join me?
Nancy Davis, Co-Chair, Young Leadership Division
P.S. For more information on YLD Social Action programs, and other volunteer opportunities in the Jewish community, contact Adam Bronstone at the Federation, and join us for the Sunday, Dec. 25, Holiday Mitzvah Meals on Wheels food delivery program!