Are You Ready? by Tara Randel

As we get ready for Thanksgiving, I’m reminded of why this is my favorite holiday. I’ve already got the turkey, side dish ingredients and can’t wait to start the pies.

I took over cooking for Thanksgiving many years ago and have to say, it’s the highlight of my year. Others might think taking on the whole production is too much, but this is where I shine. Others might also put Christmas in that category of preferred holiday, but I live in anticipation of the week when I get to prepare all the food.  

I’m not really sure when Thanksgiving became my favorite. Perhaps when we lived up north and could really enjoy the autumn season. I looked forward to the summer temperatures cooling down. Then, before I knew it, the leaves changed color. Even back then I didn’t mind the time change, although as I’ve gotten older, I’m no longer a fan. I still decorate my house with pumpkins, leaves, acorns, you name it, to bring back those fall memories.

My mom and my aunts planned for the big day for weeks. Then we’d pack so many family  members into the house, I don’t know how we all fit. And did they go all out! The dining room was elegantly decorated. A patterned tablecloth covered the long table, the china plates we only used on fancy occasions came out of the china cabinet, along with fancy glassware, to grace the table. Even the kid’s table was treated to all the hoopla.

There were appetizers, nuts, fruit, the main meal and all sorts of desserts. It seemed like we sat and ate for hours. When it was all said and done, we gathered together to clean up and wash the dishes. There was a satisfaction that came from knowing we were together on this special day.

Now that my children are grown, I try to bring back those traditions. I may not go all out like my mom and aunts, but I make sure the table is set in a special way and the sides are served in nice dishes. We may not celebrate like when I was a kid, but we do take our time though the meal and linger at the table. I suppose that’s what I love most, the unity, the memories and seeing the smiling faces of my family, no matter what kind of a year we had.

Before you know it, we’ll be cleaning that last plate after the Thanksgiving dinner and start counting the days until Christmas. The expectation starts all over again.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. I hope you have a wonderful day and enjoy a fun time of food, football and family.

Tara Randel is an award-winning, USA Today bestselling author. Family values, a bit of mystery and of course, love and romance, are her favorite themes, because she believes love is the greatest gift of all. Look for her next Harlequin Heartwarming romance, HER CHRISTMASTIME FAMILY, available  November 30, 2021. For more information about her books, visit Tara at Like her on Facebook at Sign up for Tara’s Newsletter.

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