By: Amy Dalke
This week’s to-do list is piled a mile high.
And I won’t even get to the grocery-shopping or meal-making parts until Wednesday night.
In fact, I still need to do research on how to cook a turkey. (I’m kidding about that part.) (Because there’s no way my family would allow that responsibility to fall on me again.)
It’s times like this that I have to remind myself…
Thanksgiving isn’t about the perfect place setting. It’s not about those cutesy chalkboard name cards I found on Pinterest. My family could care less about whether or not the baseboards are clean, and they won’t notice if I don’t get around to washing the paint scuffs off the walls.
When all these tasks consume my mind, thanksgiving is far from my heart.
This day, and the next, and the next, and the next…these days won’t be repeated. We have one shot at today, so why waste them in to-do list anxiety?
Thanksgiving 2014 is a day that I want to remember because of the relationships that were strengthened, because of the love that was shared, because of the grace that was offered around the family table.
When the sun sets on Thanksgiving day, no one will care about the clutter in the corner of your living room. They won’t care that your pantry wasn’t organized alphabetically. They won’t remember how good your house looked, but you can bet they will remember how they felt in your company.
They might care if you overcook the turkey…but, well, even that will be part of a happy memory. (The happy memory part won’t take effect immediately, though. I can testify to that one.) (See Dalke Family Memories from 2006.)
What if we stood up together this year against the Perfect Thanksgiving, and instead chose to welcome people to our table with love? That means we won’t slave this week over the tasks of preparation, to the point of wringing ourselves out with stress.
Rather than focus on the perfect decor, or the perfect table, we can set our minds on preparing a heart of thanksgiving.
I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart;
I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. (Psalm 9:1)
I’m pretty sure if we focus on the thanksgiving part, it will make for a better Thanksgiving.