Family and the Meaning of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the one holiday I will not compromise in being away from my family.  The one day a year I want turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and the whole works.  This is a time to count our blessings and appreciate the people in our lives.  I tend to be extra conscious of my friends during Thanksgiving-the people I can count on no matter what.

I shake my head in disgust when the focus of this particular holiday is about gifts and pre-Black Friday deals.  I would imagine that many people are revolving their holiday plans around stores’ hours on Thanksgiving Day.  Seriously??  I applaud stores like Nordstrom’s, Bed Bath and Beyond, Costco and the others who ARE NOT open on Thanksgiving Day. How refreshing…stores having principles and being unapologetic about them.   For the parents who plant themselves outside a store before they’ve even digested their turkey, what does that teach our children about family and counting our blessings?  To me, it says “things” are more important than people.  Wow, how very sad!

In a matter of hours, I will be surrounded by my family which includes my 83 year-old father and 75 year-old mother, sisters, brother-in-law, nephews and niece.  What started out as plans for a quick dinner with my sister turned into a family dinner and I’m good with that.  We always enjoy each other’s company and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  There is no equal to spending time with family.  I encourage all of you to re-think your plans for Thanksgiving night and put family first.  If any of this reminds you something you’ve read in a book called Good Tidings and Great Joy, good because I love that Sarah Palin is trying to take back American values and getting people to wake up.

Sincerely,
Grateful in Norman

My 7 Random Things

While this post is only partially related to faith, family and sports, I still wanted to share. Thanks to our administrative assistant, Juli Hall, our staff shared “7 random things” about ourselves at our staff meeting this morning. This was both entertaining and insightful and I’m glad we did the activity. So, with that said, here are mine:

1. I love photography and would love to have my photos displayed in a gallery some day. For now, there are some up in a coffee shop in Moore.

2. My sister and I hope to open a B & B….here or in College Station if my nephews become Aggies.

3. I have never gotten chicken pox. One year my sisters, cousins all got it in either Ireland or Wisconsin and yet I never got it. When my Dad got Shingles, my Mom immediately sent me to get a vaccine.

4. I’m a sucker for holiday movies and relate closely to the Griswold’s in Christmas Vacation. We have many pictures of lights draped around poles with duct tape and orange extension cords.

5. One year on our way to Chicago, our suburban coasted off of I-35 and we had to get a new one in Waxahachie, TX. Every time I drove through there, I have my moment of silence, laugh and hit the gas.

6. I once met Herb Kelleher (former CEO of Southwest Airlines) at a Southwest gate in Dallas….and he is as nice as everyone says.

7. For a person who grew up quiet and introverted, I am now very sarcastic and enjoy making people laugh and lightening up a mood.

-Mary

My Blog Reinvented

Three simple words that describe “a few of my favorite things” (yes, that would be a reference to The Sound of Music).  in a nutshell.  To me, faith is believing that there is something (or someone) greater that gets me through the difficult days.  Faith is knowing that God has a plan for me though I may not understand the intricacies.  Faith is trusting God when the alternative is to stay in the past. 

 

Family is the group of people that are there no matter what.  I’m blessed to have two older sisters (yea, wasn’t always giddy about that) but I can’t tell you how much of a relief it is to know they always have my back.  My parents are unconditionally supportive and I am grateful for their love.  For the past 16 years, I have been lucky enough to be an aunt.  Being the youngest child, I have absolutely loved being able to watch my nephews and niece grow up and see the world through their eyes.

Last, but certainly not least, sports.  Sports are my outlet, distraction and home away from home.   I love fall….fall is the changing of the leaves; fall is cooler weather; fall is Thanksgiving and vacation for me.  Friends may cringe when they read this, but to me, fall is basketball season.  Typically, my Wednesday and Sundays are spent at Lloyd Noble Center, home of the Oklahoma Sooners.  For those 2 hours, my mind is free of all the things I need to be doing, fixing, assessing, etc… and I am a fan.  I feel like I’m 12 years old again and in my backyard shooting hoops.  Whether I’m celebrating a fast break play by Morgan Hook or a 3-pointer from Vegas (aka Aaryn Ellenberg), or watching Coach Coale with hands on her hips and that crooked smile after some stupid call by the refs….I don’t have a care in the world but enjoying those 40 minutes of basketball.  Basketball is my first love….and thanks to a family member having introduced me to OU (and Coale’s ’02 Final Four team playing in my hometown of San Antonio), I’m a Sooner and darn proud of it.