Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of SHARING the bounty of our lives.
As part of a LARGE family, I learned early on that sharing was an essential part of how we lived. I am the youngest of 5 daughters with scores of cousins. We shared clothes, we shared accessories, we shared stories…songs…joys and sorrows. We also shared when it came time to gather at the table.
When planning for family gatherings, I watched as Mother not only offered her special cooking talents, she offered her China, Crystal, Sterling, Linens, Salt Cellars, Sterling Pepper Shakers….whatever it was that the hostess might need. She never hesitated to wrap up the big sterling platter for someone who might have need of it.
We often loaded the car early to set about setting the tables where ever we were headed.
It never occurred to me that this was out of the ordinary! When friends would have parties, my first question was do you need any thing? I could get easily gather 300 gold chargers or 60 place card holders…120 white wine glasses….120 blue and gold-rimmed buffet plates, some Derby China that if it could talk – whoa!…
My sisters and I have carried on the tradition, teaching it to the next generation. As each of us has purchased or inherited China, Crystal, Sterling….whatever it might be (an enormously gorgeously ridiculous lucite chip/dip set:)!, we do so with an eye for sharing. As you can see this Thanksgiving is BLUE Traditional. Other times, we go retro contemporary, pink palace, red modern. It’s ALL fun. And never too precious to USE.
As our families change and friendships become family community, I think this is even MORE important today. It teaches us and the next generation that our blessings belong not only to us, but to those with whom we spend our meals, our daily lives. It also stresses the importance of the ‘gathering’. We need each other. No one can set a beautiful table alone!
I was taught early on that if you had it, you should use it. The china was never holy – we used it. The crystal was never dusty because we used it. The silver…the linens…patina was the word mother used – that a beautiful patina on something meant that it had been used and enjoyed by those around you. A chip in the china just meant it had been a great party. Probably with wonderful music and good wine.
What are you waiting for?
As you think about this Thanksgiving – and what you can share – think not only of the beautiful food you can bring that will bless, but delve into those linen and china cabinets and think about using and offering some of those beautiful pieces as bounty for the table as well. For goodness sake, whom does it bless by sitting in a closed cabinet covered by cloth?!
And when do you share, do so freely. Remember that a chip means it was a good party, a wine stain on a linen napkin means it was a good party….and you most certainly can’t take it with you!
Be a gracious and joyful sharer. It’s only stuff. The people are the precious part.
And besides, everything tastes better on china & crystal with a beautiful aged linen napkin in your lap! Even cranberries ;)….well, maybe not those ;)!
SHARE with us what you SHARE for Thanksgiving! Let us know YOUR traditions!