My friend Angela mentioned something today that, coincidentally, I was thinking about just this morning: what's the best part of Thanksgiving? There's the menu planning, trying to come up with something different every year to accompany the standard turkey and potatoes and pumpkin pie. There's the baking the night before, and the cooking the day of with Macy's parade on TV. There's the table setting; don't ask why, but I love seeing the table sparkle with my amber Depression glass and gold (well, golden) charger plates, the crystal glasses, the good silver. There's the food, and the family, and the blazing fire after dinner. And cards or other games if we haven't all collapsed from overeating. But like Angela said, what's the favorite thing?
All families have their traditions, I guess. My family nowadays likes to sit down to Thanksgiving dinner after dark, around six, making the most of the day by nibbling and preparing and being in each other's company. My mom, on the other hand, set noon as the dinner hour, which meant the turkey needed to be in the oven rather early...like 5 a.m. early. Not in all the years of my youth did I understand why she got up in the middle of the night to stuff and dress the holiday bird, but I have to say some of my most vivid and happy memories as a child were waking up before the sun rose to the smell of turkey roasting, and knowing that my mother was downstairs in a warm kitchen, rolling pie crusts and, more than likely, humming a Patsy Cline tune.
So I think the answer to my favorite part of Thanksgiving is the smells: of candles, and of the simmering celery/onion/mushroom/butter mixture that goes into the stuffing; of apple pie; of crisp autumn air when family comes through the door; and of turkey, filling the house with an aroma that reminds me of my early-bird mom and her lilac sachet, and a holiday that in the end is all about being with the ones you love.
Hoping your day this year was a special one, even if times right now aren't the best, and that you took a few moments to acknowledge the good things you do have with a little nod of thanks.