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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Countdown to Thanksgiving: The End

Last week --- If you’re working alongside me, hopefully you’re experiencing a deeper awareness of why we celebrate this holiday  (no, its not about the turkey!!) 
As I move this close to Thanksgiving, its time for me to explain about a quirky holiday tradition in our household.  Each Thanksgiivng, I select a couple of people for whom I am especially grateful this year.  It can be for any reason --- just people who have made that quiet difference for me – and who deserve to know that – and to feel my appreciation.  I spend some quiet time – with a pen and some nice stationary --- and write them a letter explaining why I am so grateful for them in my life right now.  I generally mail them right before Thanksgiving. 
So the first item on my to-do list this week is to write my Thanksgiving letters.  My first one is going to our dog school teacher – without her, our dog would still be a complete and total wild child – she and we would be much less happy together.  Without Leea and her work with us, this  might not have been a successful rescue of a beautiful animal.  Whether Ginger knows it or not, she owes Leea her life --- she’s one happy dog because of the work that Leea does. 
My second Thanksgiving letter this year is going to a colleague at work.  She is the person who checks on me when things are stressy.  She leaves me little notes to cheer me up.  She always has something positive to say – even after an awful meeting.  She just makes life at work better.  And she’s not even aware of how much she does this – and how huge a difference it makes for everyone (not just me).  So she gets a letter this year. 
The rest of my list for the week looks like this:
·       Finish up the shopping for Thanksgiving dinner.
·       Pick up a bouquet from Double Decker Farm --- I so love their vegetables and flowers – there won’t be all that much left – the season is really over – but Deb does such a terrific job with bouquet wrangling that it will be beautiful – and certainly more elegant and lovely than anything from the supermarket or florist. 
·       Pick up a bag of ice --- I want cold drinks for Thanksgiving!!
·       Set up the timeline for cooking --- if I don’t plan this out like a military operation, we’ll be eating Thanksgiving dinner in six courses – based on what’s done when.  Not fun.  I take the time to back everything up from T-Time to know when to start what.
·       Set out all of the necessary pots and pans with sticky notes about what gets cooked in each one.  There’s nothing more frustrating than going to cook the potatoes and realizing that you already used the only pot they’ll fit in --- Plan ahead and label everything.
·       Set out and label all of the serving dishes --- Need I repeat?  It also makes it so someone else can actually be helpful in the kitchen on Thanksgiving Day – not just in the kitchen and in the way.
·       Tuesday, I’ll do the baking – all the pies and quick breads.  The bread can wait until Thursday itself since it bakes in the bread machine and doesn’t tie up my oven.
·       Wednesday night, I’ll set the table.  Its nice to get up in the morning and be greeted by a lovely table all ready for Thanksgiving.  We’ll eat breakfast at the kitchen counter….. that’s why I got those stools anyway, isn’t it??