My Thanksgiving Confession

Oh the bliss of another Thanksgiving. Or not. With reluctant candor I confess that the mention of that fourth Thursday in November doesn’t stir the embers in my heart. Holidays pressure me to perform beyond my skill-set. They expose my domestic deficiency and creative dearth.

Thanksgiving—a tradition-packed, homespun, poetic celebration, when families crowd highways to connect. Savory roasted turkey and cornbread dressing wafting from the oven, sweet potato casserole, and once-a-year pumpkin pie buried in whipped cream. Sounds good.

But you can’t get there without mile-long grocery lines, recipe searches and limitless pots to scrub, a sweltering kitchen, timers going off, rolls burning, drink orders, mismatched napkins, where-are-those-serving-spoons?

Please… is all this necessary? Can’t we just be thankful?

A massive undertaking of countless hours, an all-female labor force, and a depleted food budget—is all this worth it for a thirty-minute meal? This girl’s not convinced. Call me the Thanksgiving Grinch—I can take it, but I’d rather watch football with the men.

A bright side to this holiday madness comes the day after. No, not the shopping— the leftovers! No cooking for at least two more days. A turkey sandwich and more gridiron—simple pleasures.

Perhaps others feel the same way, but such an unpopular sentiment must be kept to oneself. Too many like-minds might start a rebellion and turn American culture on its head. Don’t worry, I’ll keep quiet and do my duty—at least one more year. Maybe I’ll even work on my attitude—now that would be refreshing.

And while I’m at it, maybe I should acknowledge that a confession without repentance looks a lot like whining without resolving, like a martyr without a cause.

A moment of truth—I’m the one who isn’t thankful.

Is it too late to lay down the Martha syndrome and embrace the virtue of putting others first, to choose joy in humble service, to right a ship that’s gone off-course? Bring on the sackcloth and ashes—I’m undone.

Silenced and breathing in grace, I climb out of the ditch I dug with my discontent. Free from the rut, I seize a new day, a new opportunity. Hand me an apron so I can get started on that green Jello salad. And this year, I’m creating something different in the kitchen—an aroma of thankfulness.

11 comments to My Thanksgiving Confession

  • Cherie

    Its 3:30 am. The kids have a virus. Again. I think adopted kids have the immune system of a gnat? So yours truly had to grocery shop for Thanksgiving at midnight. We have no family here in the gem state. So I have to cook. I stink at cooking. I’m ‘domestically challenged’. (except for knitting & crocheting…) But then…? Janet’s post lights up my iPhone as I turn off the nightlight. And now I have the blessing of a new perspective. I will start the day with this attitude. My kids have prattled on and on about the excitement of the Thanksgiving feast. Their Mommy is gonna give them just that. A feast. I just need a quick nap.

    • Cherie, Happy Thanksgiving! I am so thankful for my new friends in the online community. That includes you! I love your humor and your refreshing honesty. We’re all on different roads but headed to the same destination. Let’s keep pressing on with joy and thankfulness in our hearts.

  • Karen Burroughs

    Love the transparent rant!! I, too, love the imagery of Thanksgiving celebrations. But now as an empty nester with kids too far away to come for a weekend, I leap at the invitations to sit at someone else’s table, to just bring a dish and call it DONE! But this year I have the gift of our foster daughter and family here with us. That means I dig into the pots and pans to find that roasting pan and paw through the recipes to find something that somehow aligns with the images in my head. And then I am determined to celebrate! My goal is to assign recipes to everyone. And then just to enjoy the result, whatever it is!

    Thanks for making me smile, Janet!

  • Elizaberh

    I can so relate! Great message-thanks for the reminder that holidays are not about me and who spends time where, with whom, and for how long… Eyes OFF self and ON Him! Thanks!

  • Oh, thank you, Janet for sharing your aroma of thankfulness. I smiled as I read your words from the heart. God is so good to bless each of us with different gifts that we can inspire and encourage each other, and you have truly inspired me to memorize Scripture along with my Saturday morning prayer group.
    As for Thanksgiving meal preparation, this will be my 44th,(the year we were married we shared with my husband’s family and I cried because my pie crust was a flop).
    Now, each year, our children come to our home for all the traditional favorites, which I will spend today preparing, while putting the final touches on memorizing Psalm 100, A Psalm of Thanksgiving.
    Thank you, Janet,your inspiration has added a new dimension to my prayer life- His Word in my heart!
    Thanksgiving blessings to all, Maureen

  • Shari B

    Love the transparency, Janet! I’m asking the Lord for a grateful heart, too. Yesterday I thanked Him for a lost cell phone and that it was found by a good Samaritan. Last night I printed out copies of Psalm 100 to glue onto cards to set on the meal tables at my parents’ home–at some point all of us gathered can read that aloud. It is all about thanking Him, isn’t it! Thank you for the reminder.

  • Richie Malone

    Well, I am glad to know that I am not the only one who feels this way! And I needed the wake up call to remember that it’s not about me. Surely I can be Mary and Martha all in one – a thankful busy bee.

  • Kathryn Ludrick

    I can relate. I’m having a flare-up of back pain and the clutch on my truck is going out, so i don’t feel very thankful. I crawl back to Ps 119, wherein every time the psalmist records his oppression by circumstances or people, he then says, “Yet I do not forget Your statues,” or “But I hope in Your word,” etc. Anyway, I just came out of my prayer closet, trusting in His goodness and that He will supply what I can’t produce on my own, an aroma of thankfulness. 🙂 HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL.

  • Christal

    I can sure relate nearly 100% with this post! Such a good reminder of this labor of love we moms perform every holiday…to *remember* the love and the thankfulness. Beautifully written, too. 😀

    • I think today’s blog is resonating with many out there. I would have responded earlier but I’ve been joyfully cooking most of the day. It’s time for a coffee break. Granddaughters are napping and husband went to the grocery store for a few forgotten items. All is well. God is good. And we are all thankful for blessings we couldn’t possibly deserve. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. May your cup overflow with gratitude.