An Epic Thanksgiving Gathering
This year, the Thanksgiving dinner attendance was a record 26-people with representation from every decade. We had the babies, the kids, the teens, the young adults, the parents, and (the category that I fell into), the “elders.”
My son-in-law’s mother, Lynn, and her sister, Rebecca (aka “Lolly”) skillfully planned this extended family 4-day outing. They even created a multi-page brochure describing our luxury retreat accommodations, activities, and hiking options!
Rebecca (Lolly) and David (Pops) hosted the traditional feast on Thanksgiving Day at their gorgeous Mesa home. On Friday, the crowd went on to Moab, UT for the weekend for more hiking, feasting, and family bonding.
When I was a kid, I always envisioned being the matriarch of big holiday dinners. As it turns out, it is SO much less stressful to be a guest, rather than the host!
The years that I did host it was usually for 8 people for an afternoon, not 26 people for 4 days! I was so busy worrying about cooking and helping everyone find whatever they needed, that I barely had time to just enjoy myself.
In this case, the whole adventure was extremely well-planned and executed! The fact that it seemed seamless and smooth tells me just how much work was being done by a lot of unsung heroes. The planners worked hard at preparing all the meals and making sure everyone was happy and comfortable.
There was a lot of laughter, games, eating, playing, and family bonding as if everyone all jumped out of a Norman Rockwell scene.
Since I’ve retired, I’ve become much more aware of the importance of social connection. Between the Covid years and the family moves and changes, family gatherings are something I especially treasure.
I know it was a lot of work to create such a successful weekend and I’m so appreciative to all of those who worked so hard. Though I’m sure there are a lot of people I’m not mentioning, here are some of the people and things I’m grateful for:
- Scotty, for making the trip from Virginia to join us and be my hiking buddy.
- Lolly and Lynn, for planning such an extraordinary holiday.
- Lolly and Pops for opening up their home to all of us and providing so much food, warmth, and love.
- Whitney, for all the food planning and preparing many of the meals throughout the weekend.
- Megan and Chris, for inviting Scotty and me, and sharing rooms with us.
- The gorgeous scenery we all enjoyed while hiking.
- The way so many people pitched in with food preparation, clean-up, and helping each other.
- The thoughtful conversations and the chance to get to know each other on a deeper level.
- The fun of being around babies and little children.
- Being with my grandchildren and seeing them interact with their cousins and extended family.
- Reneya’s creative Turkey Cupcakes.
- The glow-stick dance party!
- Steve’s expertly prepared cafe lattes each morning.
- Scotty’s driving throughout the weekend.
- Everyone in attendance for their friendliness and thoughtfulness.
This will definitely be a Thanksgiving to remember!