The word eucharist means to give thanks. Thursday is out national day of Thanksgiving and it is my most favored holiday. The holiday is compressed into one single day. Work limits advanced preparation. So,I am forced into this hardcore press to get it all done. It all manages to get done and I love the challenge.

Now, I am all about abundance on Thanksgiving. There should be more food than is reasonable. It is impossible to get some of everything I cook onto one plate…unless you leave off the Turkey. Now, turkey-less thanksgiving is an option because the “fixin’s and go-to-withs” are more than enough. We don’t count calories or cholesterol on Thursday. When I went grocery shopping I bought 6 lbs of butter. BUTTER. That is crazy. Yummy but crazy.

So we will break bread. We will give thanks. We will speak aloud of our blessings of the past year. It is a communion. Most of our nation, certainly all of our neighbors, will sit down and do similar rituals. We gather our families or our friends and we share a meal. Even if we cannot be with family we bring them symbolically in the form of sweet potato casserole or spinach balls. Each person has THAT ONE DISH that defines Thanksgiving. It is usually something we only make for this holiday. It is the closest thing to sacred we may get in our fledgling nation.

I will miss those people I love but with whom I cannot share this day. I will think of the people I love who have died. I will think of the times they sat with me and ate too much. I will think of my dearest friends. I wish we could cook together, drink coffee or “adult beverages” while we wait for the yeast rolls to rise. I will certainly be sad about the people I love whom are not here.

Christ said at his last meal that we should take of the bread and drink from the cup. Being in communion with Him, brings us everlasting life. It is also called church when two or more of us are gathered in His name. So on Thursday, I will rise with the sun. I will chop the onions slowly letting the tears flow. I will knead the dough and then be patient. I will set the table with intention, hesitating over each plate, knowing that someone I love will sit there later, stuffing their face. I will accept the burned dish or the dropped plate realizing it is a simply trial, a test. I will pause and give deep thanks for my many, many blessings. When the meal is over and we are all facing the inevitable food coma…..I may be most thankful for my new dishwasher. ÂI will wake up Friday morning and have apple pie for breakfast. Its tradition.

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