Thanksgiving Family

Food is one of the great unifiers. There is something about sitting down over a meal with someone else that breaks down barriers and helps us connect. The holidays are filled with great traditional meals that help to bring us together. Not one of these meals is more celebrated than Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving has become all about the meal. While other holidays and their traditions are being commercialized the Thanksgiving meal seems to be holding its own and even pushing back. Granted, football has always been a competition but even it seems to be paused or at leashed hushed for the value of a meal. Now the “door buster deals” are trying to steal the spotlight and for many are succeeding. However, the meal still holds something special for us. I can’t help but see the similarities of this meal and the communion we share every Sunday.

My Thanksgiving this year was in many ways like any other I have had and even very stereotypical. Lots of people of varying ages, lots of food, kids running around, game on the television, a turkey coma soon to follow. This year, however, had a twist. I had never met most of these people until that night but that night we were family.

This is how it began. I had heard of a couple families in our neighborhood that weren’t going to be able to be with family for Thanksgiving. This kind of bugged me and I put a question out on one of the Facebook groups I am a member of about having community get-togethers so these families wouldn’t have to be alone. I got a great response but really didn’t have a plan together. The first week or so of November I just decided to rent our neighborhood community center, which cost $150. That evening I got a call from our HOA president offering the community center for free. This is the one thing that clenched my decision to go ahead. Then as Thanksgiving got closer we got turkeys donated, people RSVP’ing, and lots of food promised much from people who couldn’t come but just drop off food.

Altogether we ended up with about 40 people showing up and eating together. We gathered around in a large circle and had a prayer then everyone made their plate and scattered out to eat. We enjoyed each other’s company for a while before cleaning up and heading back to our houses. For that time we were family; sharing stories, food, recipes, and getting into one another’s lives. The barriers we hold onto so tightly were slacked. It truly showed me that your family reaches beyond those you share blood or marriage ties with and even church ties. Family is who you share life with. I am blessed to have a large family. I am thankful for my family by blood, by marriage, by neighborhood, and by faith community.

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Denton, TX 76209



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