One thing I like about new beginnings, from the simplicity of waking up to a new day to the intensity of “starting over in life” entirely, is that if I embrace the potential and “hold the door open” for change allowing my experience to be different – it definitely will be. Generally. Barring obvious limitations to that kind of outcome (like being trapped within the confines of an unhealthy dynamic – in those situations, change can and does still occur, but the timing often does not feel “timely”).

I think what I mean to say is – I’ve got to be open to allowing a bad experience to change, evolve, or end, before it easily can. If the circumstances are shared, then it isn’t always up to me alone to see wrongs put right, or to find my way to a more enjoyable experience. It’s more complicated, for sure. It is far more likely that I’ll become mired in some terrible mess or abysmal case of the blues if I am not actually willing to move on from it, or unwilling to allow change to occur. As weird as it is – it’s very human to cling to misery and suffering, even to create and nurture it. I definitely recommend not doing that.

It is the evening before Thanksgiving. For me, it is the kick-off of the winter holiday season. A season of giving and of gratitude, of sharing and of community, of feasting and celebrating. What am I celebrating? Everything I am grateful for. Part harvest festival, part holiday party, and as much of it spent in the kitchen as at the table – it’s one of my favorite American traditions. No pilgrims at my holiday table, and also no genocide; that’s not the foundation of this holiday in my home. There’s no reason to keep telling old lies about first Thanksgivings, or try to use a fond holiday meal to whitewash brutal colonial history. It’s not about that. It’s about setting a good table, preparing a good meal, and sharing thankfully.

…It’s pretty easy to avoid strife when it’s just my Traveling Partner and I sitting down to our holiday meal, and I’m thankful for that, too.

So the menu is decided, and the recipes are selected. The “who does what” has been determined. Now it’s a long weekend and a day in the kitchen, then a day to get the Giftmas tree up and decorated, and a day for mixing up the plum pudding and steaming it (to be set aside to age until Giftmas). This particular weekend almost always feels like an actual vacation for me… well… I say that, but memory is a funny thing; I don’t much remember the confrontations or arguments of past family holidays at all. All that remains is the recollection of excellent meals, holiday lights, and the delights of “the season”.

Here’s wishing you a lovely holiday, and much to be grateful for. I hope every recipe is wonderful, and all your timing is quite right getting the meal to the table this year. ❤