This was Thanksgiving last year and I am over the moon with anticipation for this holiday. I love this fireplace. I spent nearly every Fall and Winter weekend next to it studying while I was in law school.  Now we are here only a handful of times per year for extended breaks to visit with family and friends but it’s still home away from home.


The last two days we cooked and cooked and cooked some more.  My mother-in-law says Thanksgiving is her favorite holiday for so many  reasons but the one that stood out to me was the fact that she says it’s easy.  No presents to be bought, just cooking and hosting for 30 people.  We completely empty out the den in her house.  All furniture goes to the garage and is replaced with round dinner tables for guests.

Chex mix is made in voluminous quantities for all “the kids.”  The kids range in age from 45 to 9 months old.  Flowers are cut and arranged in no less than 20 vases.  We go out in the yard in the rain to cut additional greenery to make each detail as beautiful as can be.

The kids help set each table setting and dig through the bowl of collected napkin rings.  She has well over 50 and each one tells a story.  Initials and dates from someone else’s life.  Nicknames of people engraved in the silver who have the same nicknames as some of us.  She’s traveled the country slowly collecting them over the years.

The pup assumes her spot all day long until the guests start to arrive.  And then the house fills with friends and family from all over the world.  They slowly trickle in and the volume and hustle and bustle grow.  Phones and cameras are put away and for a few hours it feels like we are in a bubble, where time has stopped, worries are lifted, bellies are full, and hearts are happy.  It was a beautiful Thanksgiving.

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