Well, it’s that time of year again when the beauty of fall begets the warmth of the holiday season – when the leaves are burnt orange and crimson red or, if you live north, the leaves have fallen, laying bare the trees.  Thanksgiving is the one day of the year when we, as believers, corporately celebrate our gratitude to God for all we have received throughout the previous year. For me, it’s a highly anticipated time of year. It’s not hectic like Christmas with the multitude of activities that demand your attention over the course of a month. It’s just one day to rest and ponder the goodness of God and the blessings we have received.  It’s also a time to enjoy the gathering of family and friends visiting from far and near. And, of course, it’s a time to savor and devour some of the best food the year has to offer.

In my house, we have very set menu traditions for Thanksgiving that everyone looks forward to, and not to be changed in any way! There have been years that I thought I would be adventuresome and experiment with new dishes only to be met with disappointment and rebuke by my family.  So, needless to say, I make sure I stick with “the meal,” just the way I’ve always done it. I’m allowed to change the green vegetable, but that’s it! It’s funny how we get so attached to certain traditions, foods or activities at the holidays. I think it got even worse when my children went off to college. They look forward to coming home and having everything just like it always was. I think it’s comforting for them to experience the familiarity of tradition, especially at the holidays.

That’s probably why I’ve always loved my Mom’s Thanksgiving meal and took it with me when I started my own family. That meal is basically what I still make today, save for a few minor changes. My parents grew up in the south, so although I live in New York, our menu for Thanksgiving is still very southern, all the way down to the Sweet Potato Casserole and Pecan Pie (which I make for company – my crew prefers apple and pumpkin). But, the house favorite is the Baked Corn, which has never been omitted from the menu at any point over the many years of making this holiday dinner. (For the recipe, see Recipes in Home Life section).

So as we eat and then wish we hadn’t eaten so much, and as we visit with friends and family, we will enjoy this special day and graciously give thanks to our Lord for all the blessings He has given. Then that evening, we’ll watch Home Alone. (also a family tradition)

Happy Thanksgiving and many blessings to you and your family!!

Article Written By: Kim Shattell