I am thankful that we have to eat.

littlethingsHappy Thanksgiving week! Dig out those fat jeans and start eating turkey and a variety of sweet foods that we call salad when they should be dessert.

I love November for so many reasons, and not only because it is the prettiest month ever. I also love how everyone gets so obsessed with being thankful during November. It’s like once a year we wake our privileged First World spoiled selves up, look around, and think, man, I have it good. People explode social media with thankfulness and blessing counting, and I love it. Like my friend Ashley said, “I‘m so thankful that everyone is so thankful! !hat a unifying human moment!”

I try to make thankfulness a regular thing around this blog, sharing with you the truly ordinary things that I am thankful. This week is no exception. I could tell you about how thankful I am for a sale at Old Navy on their ballet flats, because they are my absolute favorite and the most comfortable shoes ever. I could go on and on about how thankful I am for fall leaves, the beautiful colored houses in our neighborhood that leave me so happy, or the fact that I have finally found some salon recommendations to to cut this mangy head of hair that plagues me daily. I could talk about how thankful I am everyday that I married James, and not just because he cleaned the baseboards this weekend and let me watch all my stupid TV shows all Sunday afternoon without lecture or comment.

But what I am really feeling thankful for right now is food. And not just because it is delicious. I am thankful that we have to stop and eat, that our bodies force us to slow down and have a meal, and that this need often creates space and time where we can be with the ones we love. The real problem with food in our country is not that we eat too much, not that we are killing ourselves with gluten/hormone pumped meat/partially hyrdrogenated whatever, but that we have divorced food from community, from the role it is supposed to play in bringing us together.

I am thankful for brown butter dark chocolate cranberry cookies consumed with friends as we passed around their new baby on a cozy cold evening. I am so thankful for them that I made them again Sunday night, just to eat the dough while James and I cleaned our apartment. I am thankful for weekly lunches with old friends who are expecting new life, and for lunches after church on Sundays where we laugh over chips and queso or pizza. I am thankful for long dinners where you don’t want to break the spell and leave the table. I am thankful for pomegranate kale salad eaten with former roomies where we can catch up and touch base in this crazy busy world. I am thankful for those nights where you eat pizza on the couch straight from the box so that you don’t have to waste time doing dishes. I am thankful that we have to stop and eat, and that we get to stop and be together.

This Thanksgiving, let’s remember that. The point is not to wow everyone we know with the food we serve, but to gather around whatever food there is and be together. To those of you who buy the pies so you have more time to spend together, you’re amazing. To those of you who serve store bought rolls so you don’t have a melt down when the homemade ones didn’t rise, you’re so smart. To those of you who are letting the food be the thing that brings you together, rather than making you run faster and farther apart, you’re doing it right.

As for me, I have a confession: we will be using plastic silverware. Yep, I know, Martha Stewart would kill me. She isn’t invited. There will be 12 people at our place for Thanksgiving dinner (yeah, check out the picture of our living room to appreciate this) and we have no dishwasher. We want to be together, not doing dishes till midnight.

What are you all doing for Thanksgiving?

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17 Responses to I am thankful that we have to eat.

  1. RA says:

    We are going to my in-laws’, as usual, and I am bringing a marbled pumpkin tart (p206 in the awesome Smitten Kitchen cookbook)!

    Last week, we had 2 Friendsgivings, and they were so much fun. I ate leftover turkey sandwiches with cranberry sauce for, uh, lots of meals over the weekend.

  2. Lisa says:

    I love this perspective and also really enjoy eating with people I love & cooking for them. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  3. wifiemmott says:

    Really lovely Hannah. I completely agree about food being for slowing down, breathing and enjoying community. We are often so busy charging about, we miss the truth that food is meant to nourish us, not just fill a hole. I love this season, we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK but my husband, kids and I have been writing thank you coloured leaves to stick on a Thankful Tree as suggested by my friend Hannah – http://walkingwiththemoon.com/2013/10/30/gratitude-and-pumpkins-that-taste-of-nothing/
    It’s brightened up our wall no end.

  4. Your writing speaks to my soul.

    We’re hosting Thanksgiving this year. Which means around 50 people will descend and there will be enough food to supply a small country. Thanksgiving is my favorite!

  5. Stephanie says:

    We are using disposable dishwater too. Plates, bowls and silverware. We wanted to save on time and stress too. And they are festive too so double win!

  6. Meghan says:

    Love that you point out the point is being together. YES! I for one am headed to family in NYC/NJ and bringing essentially Oreo “crack” pie because it’s frozen, chocolate and takes 2 sec to throw together. :)

  7. You’re such a wonderful writer! I love this! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. We split our day: Half with my side and half with his! Lots of food and fun!

  8. Lovely post, as an Englishman I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving but it looks like such a wonderful festival, and I think this post is a great summary of what it’s all about! Be thankful when you’re full is all I can say!

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