As I said when I shared in regard to our Christmas traditions last year, Brent and I “wanted to cut sharp against the grain of American culture and tradition, and we were aware that the pursuit of our cross-current ideas would require the forging of a new culture and the crafting of new traditions.”

We wanted to keep things simple.

We wanted to keep our holidays Holy.

We wanted to keep Christmas and Easter about Jesus.

We wanted to keep ThanksGiving about Gratitude.

As we set about the tasks of preparing a meal and gathering family and setting the table, we told Hannah and Paul about the sea-ravaged peoples who arrived–yes, uninvited–upon the brisk and bitter shores of a land settling in to sleep through winter, in no way adequate to survive. 

We told the children how they then froze and starved, how many of their number fell ill and died. We told how the souls native to the land, at what ultimately would prove an utter devastation to themselves, took the strangers under their wings and became the catalyst of their salvage.

And they were salvaged. And they were saved. And they began to thrive. And they decided to hold a feast as means to express their thankful hearts. 

And they opened the feast with five little grains of corn laid on each plate as memorial to the scarcity of their first long days and weeks and months on the soil of their new home.

So, we set our table.

And we lit a set of candles.

And we laid five little grains of corn on each plate.

And we sat down.

And by turns we lifted each tiny kernel from our plates with our fingertips, and we thought, and we named the things we were especially grateful for.

And we each read a verse of Psalm 100.

And together we thanked our God for the many, many ways He blessed us.

And, though the children are now grown and with children of their own, we each–some years together and some years apart–observe the return of the day the way we observed it from their beginnings.

Happy ThanksGiving, Friends 

Kim Woodard Osterholzer, Colorado Springs Homebirth Midwife and Author

Books by Kim:

Homebirth: Safe & Sacred

Homebirth: Commonly Asked Questions

A Midwife in Amish Country: Celebrating God’s Gift of Life

Nourish + Thrive: Happy, Healthy Childbearing

One Little Life at a Time: Recommendations + Record Keeping for Aspiring Homebirth Midwives

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