Are you a relative or personal friend? Maybe you’re one of my Blessed… blog readers , or follow The Mom Initiative …either way, you’ve seen this tablecloth before. You may have even signed it.
This precious post bares repeating – again, and again, and again.
With our recent move to Tennessee I brought a tender slice of California friends and family along with me. I can’t tell you where much is still buried under boxes and bubble wrap, but I can tell you without a doubt where this treasure is.
Need a little holiday encouragement today? Then get yourself a tablecloth and some fabric pens before Thursday rolls around…
When I was a little girl, Thanksgiving dinners were spent at my grandparent’s house. My Grandpa was Italian. It was our family’s tradition to have pasta with our turkey dinner, Christmas dinner, birthday dinner, Fourth of July barbecues, and any other meal shared at their table. I can’t look at a bowl of mostaccioli’s without thinking of my Grandpa.
Traditions don’t have to be big productions or make big dents in your bank account. Some of our personal favorites have begun without us trying. We decorate our Christmas tree while eating Rice Krispy treats and drinking hot cocoa. We annually attend free museum day in Sacramento on the first Saturday in February, just to name a few. But, our favorite family tradition by far is our Thanksgiving tablecloth.
Our special custom began in November 2001. I was hosting our family turkey day only weeks after 9/11. Like all Americans, we were licking our wounds from our hurts and thinking of so many whose Thanksgiving dinners would never be the same.
As soon as we finished our meal, out came the ceremonial fabric pens. All who gathered around our table were encouraged to take a turn writing on the tablecloth what they were thankful for. Our favorite family tradition was born that day.
As the years have passed, this linen tablecloth has become precious to me. Notes of gratitude for spouses, children, our country, and our God, dance across the pale yellow cloth. Each small child has had their hands outlined by their mommy or daddy, while Great Grandma Cusumano’s shaky signature holds its rightful place in the very center of our table.
Now each November my children request the honor of putting out the tablecloth, just like they request to put the angel on top of our Christmas Tree or candles on their birthday cake. When Thanksgiving arrives, company gathers around our table hours before the turkey and stuffing make their grand entrance. Guests laugh at the memories while young children search to find their handprints, thrilled to see how much they’ve grown.
Once our guests are gone and the dishes have been put away, it’s time for a personal tradition of my own, reading in solitude the special messages left behind by my family and friends. They may not be present for every turkey dinner, but their words remain on the cloth, hugging my heart, and reminding me to offer up a prayer of thanksgiving for every one of them.