What a wonderful time we had this Thanksgiving weekend!
Memory #6 was our first Thanksgiving in Florida. It’s also a record for the Maxey family. It was the largest gathering we’ve had coming in at 22 people at the dinner table. That number included 15 family members, 3 neighbors, Aaron’s girlfriend and her parents, and Maggie’s mom from Iowa. It was the largest number of guests outside of family that we’ve ever had. What a feast it was! We talked to our neighbor yesterday and he said he is still telling people about what a great Thanksgiving we all had together.
And the best part is that God was in charge of the inviting. The only guest we knew was coming before Wednesday was Maggie’s mom. The others were invited by Andrew at the prompting of God in the moment. What a great way to throw a party! In the morning we went to the beach. We looked for shells and saw a pod of dolphins playing in the waves. In the afternoon we prepared enough food for an army. Later we had a great dinner with lots of hands to help and lots of fun conversation with new friends. We even had live entertainment since the neighbor boy is a very talented musician and blessed us with an impromptu piano concert.
This past year has given us so many things to be thankful for. I am so glad I have continued my thankfulness book. With over 1500 entries over the past 2 years, it’s a meaningful testimony of the goodness of God every day. It’s just a tiny little book but full of so many blessings. It’s helped me to have a grateful heart all year round and not just on Thanksgiving.
On Friday we ignored the shop-til-you-drop crowd and stayed home all day baking cookies. This is a tradition that has been part of our family since the late 70s. Many years of memories have taken place on Cookie Friday in our home, first in Ohio, then Iowa and now Florida. Everyone has their favorite cookie requests and we try to make them all! We won’t break the record which stands at nearly 120 dozen in one year but we will have lots to give away.
On Saturday we went to get the Christmas tree. 75 degrees, sunny…not at all what we are used to. Hats, gloves and scarves were replaced by shorts, sandals and sunglasses. We still ended up getting a pine from up north. The Florida trees just don’t smell the same! And our traditional hot chocolate treat after finding the perfect tree had to change too. This year it was an ice cream treat instead. Sunday evening was the tree trimming party. We had a great time eating snacks, decorating the house and tree, and watching old Christmas movies.
None of this is anything spectacular. Not a lot of bells and whistles for us. But it means the world to us. With the frenzy that seems to be growing every year around the Christmas holiday season, there might be a temptation to try to out do what we did in previous years but we don’t need any of that. We are content to do as we were encouraged to do in our Sunday sermon yesterday. We make every effort to seize each opportunity we can, to cherish the relationships God has given us, and to trust God for the future.
This has been a very full year and in some ways a very difficult year. We’ve had many adjustments and challenges. We’ve had conflict and sickness and financial setbacks and we have been changed. Hopefully we are stronger and wiser and closer as a family because of it.
And for all of it we are so very thankful!
1 Thessalonians 5:18 Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.