Yesterday afternoon I got to interact with a young couple who, instead of dashing from his relatives back to hers on Thanksgiving Day, decided to stay at home this year. They already had the cornbread for the Southern dressing baked and were making sure they had the right oil to deep fry two fifteen pound turkeys on Thursday morning. They’ve invited their extended families to come over to their house this year for the feast. Their plan signals the usual passing of the baton of hosting the Thanksgiving meal down to the next generation. The trick is to make sure that some of the special traditions don’t get lost in transition, and my mom had one she passed down to us.
My mom always filled our table with our family, but also with widows and students who needed a home for the holiday. At each place setting she placed a walnut, and after the last bite of pumpkin pie, she got all of our attention. "You've all noticed the nut above your plate. I want you to pick it up now, and we’ll go around the table sharing something we’re thankful for.”
My wife and I carried on my mom's tradition, and one of our daughters-in-law tweaked it with the suggestion that we make our thanks one sentence. This made it possible to get around the table before the Cowboy game was half over.
So if you’re getting your table ready, include a nut at the top of the plate (pecans or Brazil nuts work too). Then take some time during your Thanksgiving to joyfully obey Paul's command,
“Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 1:20
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