Thanksgiving isn't the day before Black Friday, or the day after chaotic kitchen crisises. It isn't about parades, football or stuffing a turkey and then oneself. It's about coming home, being with family, and remembering what really matters.
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Years ago, families didn't run to the store to buy all the trimmings for their Thanksgiving meal. Every last crumb came from the family farm or from relative's and friend's gardens. It was a community ordeal to see the table spread with glorious made-from-scratch delicacies. It wasn't about fighting lines and grabbing that last box of dried, chemical-laden, nutrient-deprived stuffing mix or carting home a hormone-injected frozen turkey. Creating a holiday meal was a fine art that each family member took part and pride in, not only on Thanksgiving day, but months in advance by tending an organic garden, preserving the harvest, and by daily caring for their livestock naturally.
Living a natural and organic lifestyle isn't always easy; it comes with a price, and it may not always seem practical to those who don't understand. However, it truly is something to be thankful for. Preparing your meals from scratch, whether for Thanksgiving Day or any day, is something that the whole family can get involved with. How much togetherness can be wrought from a TV dinner after all? Your children can learn where their food comes from and they will gain a true appreciation for all the farming families who did their part in seeing that your family has such a bountiful table this holiday. What a blessing it is to be able to sit around the table and put a face to your food. To know that, because you've supported local agriculture and, in turn, local families, they will have a bountiful table along with you.
Take time this Thanksgiving and during the holiday festivities to trace back the origin of the food on your table… This is such a great educational experience for children. For each dish on your table, name the farmer involved in the process or recall some fun experience in the garden during the growing season. Follow the food trail from start to finish. This helps bring home the idea that we are all in this together; it isn't about cardboard boxes of prepared food or blindly preparing meals without knowing their ingredients or origins. Really take time to think about the process!
Perhaps you've never thought of this whole idea of whole living. A natural and organic lifestyle truly is living 365. Everything comes back around from start to finish, from compost to culinary treats and on your table and back to compost again. Living naturally is very fulfilling and worth every minute of extra effort. It also gives your children a wonderful foundation in making healthy choices for their future.
This Thanksgiving, I can name many people and blessings that I am thankful for; however, I also consider myself incredibly blessed to be able to daily strive towards living a more natural, organic and healthful lifestyle. I am thankful for each experience along the way from learning to cook from scratch to growing my own garden, even learning how to organically care for the pestilences that occasionally plague it. Living naturally is something that is learned and is a gradual process. Before long, you will look back over the journey and realize it is an organic part of your life and soul.
May your family be blessed this Thanksgiving as you recall your many blessings!