Thanksgiving To Do List

My mother loved Thanksgiving.  She spent hours dancing in the kitchen cooking up old family recipes and singing show tunes.  You wish I was joking about the show tunes, but I’m not.  Fortunately for us, my mother could actually sing.

I haven’t seen a table setting like hers since she passed away in 2008.  Before Pinterest  people actually had to find inspiration for their decor from within and my mother had a great eye for detail and color.  Our table settings were more important than the food we devoured, each napkin folded perfectly over my grandmother’s china.  I miss her show tunes, her delicately folded silk napkins and her incredible energy, but mostly I miss the way she reminded us each year that we needed to be thankful and count our blessings.

Her tradition was to go around the table and make each person say what they were thankful for.  I am sure a lot of you have this same tradition since it is in line with the meaning of the Holiday.   When I as younger I used to sit there stressing over what I would say, “Is it going to be good enough? Will it be the right thing? Gosh I wish she would STOP MAKING US DO THIS EVERY SINGLE YEAR.”  When she became sick and I was a little older our “thankful for” started to have a theme.  Every year at least one of us was thankful that she was still alive, or thankful that the chemo seemed to be working or thankful that we had gone a few months without any bad news.

The Thanksgivings following her death I could have scoured the earth trying to find something I was thankful for and I still wouldn’t have come up with anything.  Today, in 2012,  if she were here I wouldn’t be able to choose just one thing to tell her, I am thankful for so many things.

I won’t bore you with my list of things that I am thankful for this year, but I will invite you to share in my mother’s tradition and sit around your table tomorrow and have each guest pick one thing that they are thankful for. It really allows you to reflect on the year past and remind yourself why we are all here.

I was going to just post a list of films that you could see this weekend when you have some time off from work but then I stumbled upon the following video and realized I had to share.

“What makes you itch? What sort of a situation would you like?”

It is tougher than you think to really examine your life and try to pinpoint what you would be doing if there were no rules or guidelines.  Sometimes we don’t even recognize the rules and guidelines, they are hidden behind years of pretending, conforming and accommodating.

So my “To Do List” for you this Thanksgiving is to make a list of the things that you are thankful for and see if they align with what you are doing on a daily basis.  If money didn’t matter, is this how you would be living your life?

If I learned one thing from my mother during all those thanksgiving dinners, its that our time is precious, reflection is important and that people pay attention to how you fold your napkins.

Happy Thanksgiving!

As promised, a list of films to see this weekend:

A Late Quartet



Silver Linings Playbook 


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4 thoughts on “Thanksgiving To Do List

  1. Michael says:

    I’m thankful for too many things to list, which is itself something to be thankful for! Top of my list, however, is my lovely wife, a job I love, and students and alumni that inspire and amaze me.

    • fatelouise says:


      I’m thankful for my mentors who still support me after all of this time. Thanks for making those first few tough Holidays bearable by supplementing my mother’s love with yours. Happy Thanksgiving!

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