Tuesday, November 25, 2014
ANNA TELLS ABOUT THEIR THANKSGIVING
A couple of our children and their families are going to their in-laws for Thanksgiving this year, which we understand. Two are having Thanksgiving at their house because their in-laws are coming in. We told them they could join us, but they want them at their house and I don't blame them. So that leaves four of our children and their families coming. Also, my parents, Elmer's parents, my sister Hannah and her family plus we asked Sarah's family to come. We felt that all that Sarah's Mother has been through, she needs a break from all she would have to do for Thanksgiving. Not only that, it will be Sarah's family and our family together - if that makes sense.
In church on November 23rh, Bishop Eli will have a sermon on how we should take time of the year to stop and think. Be thankful for all the Lord has done for us throughout the year. He also will tell us that we also should be thankful for the hard times we have been through this year. We are willing to thank the Lord for the good times, but we must be thankful for the hard times. The Lord puts us through the hard times for a reason. We may not understand the reason things happen, but it is God's will and we must accept and be thankful. Throughout the year we should thank the Lord, but this is a time that we should take to stop and be thankful.
All of what was suppose to be the wedding food for John and Sarah's wedding that we had in the freezers at David and Jean's is out. Most of it went to the dinner after Sarah's Father's funeral. So I filled the drawers back up with Thanksgiving food. After wash on November 24th, Hannah, Sarah, Alma, and Elmer's Mother are coming over here, we will start baking pies, cookies, and cakes for desert. My Mother may come, but she has alzheimer diease and she has her good days and her bad. She was fine for our anniversary party. So if she is having her good days, she may come help, too.
This year, I asked everyone to bring a dish to pass. So I have a record of who is bringing what. That way we don't have several dishes of one thing and none of something else. So Tuesday, we will make some other dishes we need plus bread, rolls, etc. On Wednesday, we will stuff the turkeys, prepare the salads and whatever else we can for dinner.
Elmer, John and other of our sons will move the furniture out of the living room, and the room between the two bedrooms on either side of the house. They will set up the tables. We ladies will set the tables with the dishes, silverware, glasses, cups, etc. so we don't have to do it tomorrow.
After dinner on Thanksgiving eve Elmer and I will fast from then until dinner the next day at about noon. This is a practice our Amish do and I believe most of the Amish do. We can drink coffee, or tea. Now, if like in my Mother's case, she needs to take medicine or have meals because of her condition, she is allowed. But those of us that can fast are expected too. It is a sacrifice to remind us of all the sacrifices the Jesus did by coming on this earth and dying on the cross.
In our evening prayers, Elmer will read from the Bible of the teachings, and sacrifices that Jesus did for us. He will also read of where it tells us we should give thanks to the Lord. Elmer and I will talk about things the Lord has done for us that maybe we haven't thanked Him for. Then we will pray and maybe sing some religious songs before we go to bed.
I usually get up first on Thanksgiving morning. Get those turkeys in the oven. Make the coffee for Elmer when he gets up. Elmer comes down and as we drink coffee, we will pray that Thanksgiving is a day of thanks to the Lord. Elmer will read a passage from the Bible, maybe we will sing a religious song to start the day. Then, he does his chores and I work in the kitchen.
In mid-morning people will start coming. Everyone has a job. As Alma's new daughter will need the most attention, she is in charge of the little children. A couple of our older grandson's will be outside directing where people will park their buggies. Some of the ladies and older granddaughters will be the dinner servers. Some of the other ladies will be with me in the kitchen preparing the food. We sort of have a rule, if you don't have a job, keep out of the way of those that do. This usually means that the men go out into the barn to talk while we ladies are preparing dinner. We figure we will have about 100 people - give or take one or two.
When dinner is ready to serve, everyone will come inside. If we figured it right, we should be able to sit everyone in one sitting. After everyone is seated, Elmer will stand and read a short Bible passage. We will pray a silent prayer. Then, as is custom in our home, Elmer will ask that we go around the room and everyone give one thing they are thankful for. When that is finished, the ladies that are to serve do. We make sure everyone has eaten, before we that are in the kitchen sit down. That is one custom that Elmer abides by, but doesn't like. He believes that everyone should wait until the ladies in the kitchen sit before they eat.
After dinner, Elmer will stand and give a prayer of Thanksgiving, we ladies clean the table and do dishes. Now Elmer says being short does have it's advantages. Men think because Elmer is so short, he can't take down the tables and move the furniture back. Elmer says of course they don't stop to think about who moved the furniture and set the tables up. Anyway, the men take the tables down and move the furniture back.
Depending on the weather, the men will sit in the living or out in the barn to chat. We ladies will sit in the kitchen or our smaller living room to chat. In mid-afternoon, we ladies set up a table with cookies, cup cakes, cakes, etc. We also have coffee or tea or milk to drink. Everyone comes and helps themselves. Of course we watch that the little ones don't eat too much.
Before everyone leaves, and this is Elmer's custom, he will have everyone come in for one last prayer before we part. His prayer will be that not only should we be thankful to the Lord, but this is the start of the Christmas Season. He will ask that we remember that Jesus is the reason for the Christmas season and we should keep that in our hearts not only this time of year, but all year around. He will also ask that all have a safe trip and peace as they go on their ways.
After everyone is gone, he will go do his chores and I will check to make sure the house is back in order. We will have a light supper. This will be the first year when everyone leaves, it is just Elmer and I left. He said he wants to start certain prayer or Bible Reading or something that he and I will do every year. We haven't decided what it will be yet.
With all that has gone on in our house that day, I am sure Elmer and I will go to bed early that evening. I know before we go to bed, we will have Bible reading and prayers. Looking forward to what Elmer comes up with that will be something special between us.
Elmer, I and our family wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving,