In honor of this month’s Let’s Lunch gratitude theme, I’m linking to this message about our Thanksgiving Tablecloth from a couple of years ago. It’s about a tradition in our family which highlights our thankfulness for something in the previous year.

The tradition will be skipped this year because, for the first time in many years, we aren’t celebrating Thanksgiving at our house.

We won’t even all be together.

Instead, David and I will be in California spending a too-quick four days with our youngest son, who is at Camp Pendleton completing his training to be a Marine.

And so, my gratitude today, as it does every day now, centers around my little family and treasuring the times we have together, be it lying around watching TV, playing games, carrying on a hilarious group text message session—or eating, which appears to be our most favorite activity.

When the Young Son graduated from boot camp in September, we had planned a fancy dinner out that Friday night after the ceremony and activities. We thought he would want to have a special dinner and enjoy being out on the town. But all he wanted was just to “hang.”

We listened to his stories from boot camp as we ate a simple home-cooked meal in a rented kitchen far from home. The three kids piled on the sofas in the house we had rented and watched TV together, played on their cell phones, picked at each other, and laughed A LOT.

I watched them with a heart full and felt love and joy fill the room as we all did nothing—we sat around that night as though that extraordinary day in Casey’s life were any other ordinary day.

And it will live in family lore as one of the best nights ever.

Having spent the last five months with one of my children being far away and with very limited communication, I’ve realized more than ever just how fleeting and precious is any time that the five of us have together.

If I were to write on the tablecloth this year, it would simply say, “Moments.”

“Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life.” (Brian Andreas)

kids relaxing in house near Beaufort


Let’s Lunch is a Twitter party on a different food-related topic each month. Follow along on Twitter and come back here for a complete list of the Let’s Lunch posts.

Gratitude – A Cook and Her Books

Gratitude = A Plumb Cake from the Old World – Monday Morning Cooking Club

Pain au levain – GrongarBlog

Lucy standing behind a counter with a cheese board and glass of wine.

About the author

Hi, I’m Lucy! I’m a home cook, writer, food and wine fanatic, and recipe developer. I’ve created and tested hundreds of recipes so that I can bring you the best tried and true favorites.

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  1. What a fabulous tradition. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year, for just this reason: It prompts us to reflect and appreciate. Thanks for showing us a beautiful way to do that, and to remember.

  2. That brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful tradition. Thank you for sharing it with us. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  3. Oh, Lucy, you’ve got me crying now! That is the most beautiful idea and I can’t wait to try it out with my family! (so glad you’re a part of #LetsLunch!)

    1. Thank you, Lucy. You will love the tablecloth tradition. It’s so much fun to look back over the years and see what people have written.