Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
I know it’s a few days past the holiday, but I don’t think the sentiment has expired. In my mind, this whole season should be one of thanksgiving. Heck, not just this season – why not the whole year? Shortly after moving to Boston, my perspective on life changed quite significantly after a friend of mine recommended that I read one of her favorite books: One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. Ann describes her journey of counting “gifts” (blessings from God, both big and small) as an exercise in cultivating genuine gratitude. She finds that, over time, thankfulness becomes a habit and joy overflows into every part of her life. In my season of transition, I took her advice and started looking for the blessings in my own life to overturn the pessimistic and worried attitude that I often found myself wearing. I didn’t end up recording the full one thousand gifts but just like Ann, my attitude slowly shifted to one of grace, optimism, and joy that has sustained me though a whole sea of experiences these past couple years. I still have plenty of refining to do in that arena, but it certainly has changed my perspective on life from what it was before. So for me, Thanksgiving is not just a single day to pause and reflect on what I’m thankful for, but rather a moment in a whole year of reflection where I can celebrate with friends and family and hear about the blessings in their lives as well.
This year was a rich celebration with friends both old and new. My boyfriend and I shared Thanksgiving dinner with a sweet family from our church, but the feasting began long before we arrived for our 3 pm dinner invitation. Thanksgiving morning started as every day should – with amazing brunch food and close friends.
My roommate Esther and I had talked about hosting brunch this year as a way to celebrate our two passions: food and flowers. The collaboration process was a blast, and it was a wonderful morning to catch up with my roommates and guests before we parted ways to our dinner parties. Esther made pumpkin bread french toast with coconut whipped cream and pomegranate seeds, scrambled eggs, and a delicious potato hash (check out her blog, Teaspoon of Ink, for the recipes!) and I went in search of bright, festive flowers for the table and place settings.
Mixing the classic fall colors of red and orange with some white accents put a fresh spin on the classic Thanksgiving floral theme, and a little bit of bakers twine added a homemade touch to the place settings. I did have to laugh when I was picking up the Ilex berries a couple days before the event. My boyfriend had come with me to the store when I picked them up, and as I carried them on the subway ride home, he wondered out loud if people were questioning his ability to pick out flowers for his girlfriend since it appeared that I had been gifted a bunch of berries. Hahaha!
It was a lovely morning with fantastic food and amazing friends. I was keenly aware of how lucky I am to have found such a great community of people here in the transient city of Boston. It was another moment counted in my internal gift list, and as we move into this holiday season that flourishes on family, friends, and faith, I hope you can start your own list of gifts to be continually reminded of the blessings in your life. So Happy Thanksgiving, now and in the days ahead!