Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. When I was growing up I remember it as the holiday I got to spend with all the cousins on my mom’s side of the family. Since she is the oldest of 8 kids and most of her siblings had kids, too, there were a lot of us cousins. We didn’t celebrate other holidays with the extended family, so this was the big one!

Crispy Herbed Turkey with Brussels Sprouts

Crispy Herbed Turkey with Brussels Sprouts

I barely remember the dinners themselves, though I’m sure my mom and her sisters outdid themselves year after year. What I remember the most was sitting at the kids’ table (then finally graduating from it), running around outside in the dark, and being the city kid amongst my country kid cousins.

And I remember giving thanks. My mom’s side of the family was extremely religious in a way most of us are not now (which is why Thanksgiving was the only holiday we celebrated – the others were too commercialized and influenced by pagan traditions). My grandpa would always get up and give a long, heartfelt prayer. Some of us would chuckle a bit at his intensity. But the lesson sunk in, anyway.

The point of the holiday is not the turkey or the pie. The point is taking a day to step back and appreciate the sheer beauty of being alive, even if there is pain or suffering in us or around us. It is a day to not only celebrate what’s obviously good, but also to find the silver linings around our darkest clouds.

Now my extended family is way too big to fit under one roof. Most of us cousins have kids (and inlaws!) of our own to spend the holiday with. Some of us have lost touch or moved away, or developed philosophical, political, and religious differences too big to broach often. But whenever I think of Thanksgiving, I remember how secure being a part of this big family made me feel as a child, and I am grateful for that.

Grateful GAPS Holiday Foods Blog Hop

Grateful GAPS Holiday Foods Blog Hop

This year, like last, we’ll be heading to my mom’s house and joining a small subset of our clan. I won’t be eating her famous apple pie or the turkey and stuffing my uncle brings. But no matter what’s on whose plate, the important part will be the same as it ever was. To be together, and to appreciate life. It doesn’t get any better than that. I feel truly blessed.

No matter your family situation or dietary needs, I’m wishing you a happy Thanksgiving. I hope you create a memory this year that you’ll look back on and enjoy for years to come.

Now, I’ve got to say, I’m also super thankful for all the other GAPS and gluten-free bloggers out there! Check out all the recipes that were shared on the Grateful GAPS Holiday Foods Blog Hop so far!

Here are some of the dishes I’m planning on preparing this year… time will tell if I actually get to them all!

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