That's right, the week. Not just the holiday, but the whole week. Tomorrow morning I'll be up early and in the kitchen, making pie crust dough, cooking sweet potatoes for Thursday's casserole, checking the stocks of butter, eggs, flour, and cream. I'll be locating napkins and tablecloths, counting invited guests and deciding where we'll seat each one, including the littlest pilgrims. I'll get a stool and reach to the top pantry shelves for the roasting pan, the crockpot, the stockpot, and the good silver.
And I'll be giving thanks.
Oh, I do love Thanksgiving Day with all its bustle and scrumptious smells and football and laughter. I love the fall chill, which usually arrives only just in time for the holiday here in south Texas. I even love gathering up and storing the leftovers and enjoying a late night piece of pie.
But face it: for a Granny, it's a busy, busy day. And many is the year when I've come to the end of the day thinking, "Did I even REALLY "Thanks-give" today, other than in the pre-meal blessing?" Sadly, often my answer is no. And I have to remind myself that many times I'm more Martha than Mary.
One of the ways I've dealt with the paradox of working so hard at the Thanksgiving meal that the actual giving of thanks takes a back seat is to consciously use the preparation time Monday through Wednesday for a private reciting of and giving thanks for all those blessings that the Father has showered on me in the past year, not to mention the past half-century. While I roll out a piecrust, while I cut up a turkey (yes, I cut up the raw turkey, but that's another post), while I cook squash and grate carrots and simmer giblets, while I iron napkins and check salt cellars, I give thanks. I've always done a lot of these tasks ahead of time to save "crashing" on Wednesday night and Thursday morning, but now I also do it as my own private worship, and I look forward to a Thanksgiving that truly lasts all week. And though I appreciate and accept help during the week, even if I have to do it all alone it's okay...the prayers as well as the tasks themselves become my offering to a faithful God who has given me every perfect gift.