There were years in a row that we were at my parent’s house for Thanksgiving. Sometimes pulling in on Wednesday night in time for the pizza run. And sometimes bailing from the car at noon on Thursday just in time for grace and passing the yams.
Then there were a couple of messy years where nobody knew what to do. And some came. And some didn’t. And Thanksgiving was more broken than it was together.
But not this year.
Before we’d even double-parked in my parent’s driveway, it was evident that God had redeemed Thanksgiving.
And not just Thanksgiving, but each of us. He redeemed us.
Redeemed us from the inside out. Turned our relationships on their head.
And left us humbled by a Thanksgiving we can’t soon forget.
Unexpected days with cousins meant that these two didn’t waste a minute apart.
Nor did these two.
It meant a pile of grandma’s Tinker Toys could draw a crowd.
And a game of Trash could include anyone not staring at a Black Friday ad.
It meant that whether you cross your eyes or guzzle your wine, you were invited. There was a spot for you at the table.
Because Thanksgiving is for everyone.
For the toothless in last night’s pajamas.
The photo bombers.
And those with mashed potatoes sliding out of their smiles.
Thanksgiving is for cousins with custom beards.
For red whiskers.
And brown ones.
And not-even-touch-your-face ones.
It’s for cousins who’ve swapped 13 for 35. And who don’t resemble the rest of us anymore.
Post-Thanksgiving is almost the same.
Post-Thanksgiving is for a brother who brushes your hair in the morning.
And for a proud peek at a sister’s restaurant.
It’s for a seat on a hayride.
And your mug on a Christmas tree.
It’s for shopping for the right tree with the right price.
And realizing that this one isn’t it.
Nor are these ones.
But this one. Yes. This one’ll do just fine.
Post-Thanksgiving is for thawing at the fire pit.
For realizing the non-smile is the new smile.
And for being grateful for every moment of our intersected lives.