Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Holidays Behind The Scenes ...

Dana, the author of "Mamalogues," one of the many blogs I visit, wrote a lovely Thanksgiving post that included this perfect sentence: "I think the magic that lives in our youth comes from not knowing how hard the adults worked to create it."

Sometimes, when I'm reading, a sentence will leap off the page or the screen and wow me with its sentiment and eloquence. That is one such sentence.

I was thinking earlier today about tomorrow. I spend Thanksgiving at my brother and sister-in-law's house every year. Everyone converges on their house and when we arrive, the house smells great and my brother has a fire burning brightly in the fireplace and the volume of the chatter in the house steadily swells. Everyone contributes something – my annual contribution is bread – but my sister-in-law still has plenty to do all day.

Which isn't to say that my brother and their kids don't help – they surely do – but she won't sit down to eat until she's sure that everyone else has everything they need, as she's a fine hostess.

Dana's sentence set me to thinking about parties I've thrown and how, for that day, I'm really not part of my own party. I'm busy preparing leading up to the party and then tending to details the day of the party up until my last guest leaves. There's always something that needs to be done.

When we're at someone else's home for a party as guests, even if we offer to help, we're still guests.

Mom and I often end up doing the dishes on Thanksgiving and my sister-in-law invariably sees us and says, "You don't have to do that," but she and my brother deserve a break after all their effort to make the day special for the rest of us. The least we can do is leave the kitchen in order so that when they close the door after the last friend or relative departs, they can sink into the couch in front of the fireplace and relax, instead of having to wash stemware and china.

A couple of years ago, I wrote this post about Christmas Eves, past and present. These days, Christmas Eve is a relatively small affair for my family, but when I was younger, it was a huge to-do. Even as a child, I was aware of how much work went into preparing for that houseful of relatives and friends, but as an adult (who only throws one big party a year, for the 4th of July), I'm even more aware of how much effort, how much love, my mom put into making the holidays magical.

And she still does.

Just as my sister-in-law will be up early tomorrow to get the turkey prepared for the oven and then be busy until we arrive and until we leave.

People who love us enough to make sure our holidays are special are one more thing for which to be thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.


Blogger J. Marquis said...

Wow, that is a great sentence.

Hope you have a nice holiday.

9:43 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home