Every Year a Little Better

Today is Black Friday. Does anyone know why they call it that? Seems a bit morbid to me, but anyway, I digress. It’s the day after Thanksgiving. As many are out and about shopping, I’m cooking up some turkey barley soup and taking time to reflect on the Thanksgiving holiday.

The morning was peaceful as I prepared the bird for his oven roast. The chestnut stuffing prepared the day before. Gentle melodies from my laptop made a nice background ambience. There was even time to fold sailboat napkin decorations for each place setting and go for a walk in the morning sunshine.

The meal was ready – ahead of time, actually. As I savored the first bites of turkey, baked yams, and homemade gravy, I said to my youngest son who is wise beyond his years, “Somehow the food tastes especially good this year.” To which he replied, “When there’s less stress, you enjoy things more.” Isn’t that the truth?

The main reason I think I enjoyed the day so much was this: I decided to take a proactive stance this year and announced to my family that I was declaring my home a “DFZ”! You’ve heard of DMZ right? Demilitarized zone? Well, this was along those lines – Drama Free Zone. I instructed everyone to leave their dramas at home and invited them to come and be stuffed with peace and joy instead.

There will always be drama in life and in the lives of our loved ones, but the holidays are not the time to vent everything that’s built up inside for the past however long. It takes the focus away from the true meaning of the day which, in this case, is to BE THANKFUL!

Now please don’t misunderstand, I am all for communication and clearing the air. But I think there is a time and a place for doing that and it is not on a holiday! Everyone wants to enjoy the time with family, good food, and relax. There will be always be issues, but I have to ask myself “What’s more important today?” As Matthew 5:9 says “Blessed are the peacemakers” and sometimes that means setting firmer boundaries.

How was your Thanksgiving Day? I hope you were able to enjoy and relax. If not, I encourage you to reflect and find out what can be done differently next year to make the day a little bit better next year. Until next time, keep the faith and as always, keep looking up!