Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. There are such precious memories of gathering at both grandparents’ houses with Fall decorations, my favorite foods, but most of all…the stories. After eating way more than we should, our extended family would sit around the large dining room table and tell the stories of our family: stories of my grandparents dating during WWII; stories of my parents meeting in youth group at their local church; stories of my Dad terrorizing the neighborhood with his brothers when they were teens. Every year, the stories became more embellished and more entertaining resulting in hours of laughing and reminiscing and “remember whens.”
In our immediate family, our Thanksgiving tradition includes the Fan Feast at Tabernacle Baptist Church. For the past fourteen years, our family has been part of this event that welcomes church members and neighborhood guests to share a meal of gratitude together. Like my Thanksgiving memories of childhood, there are Fall decorations, favorite foods, and most of all the stories that are shared. Over the years, the kids have graduated through the ways to serve at the Fan Feast. As young children, they helped by decorating placemats and helping to clear the tables. With age, came more responsibility…they were trained in beverage service and finally food service, carefully delivering plates of food to our guests. In recent years, it’s been the treasured job of sitting with our guests and sharing stories. There are friends who return each year and look for our kids to remark on how they’ve grown and “remember whens.” When I asked our children this week about the Fan Feast and why it’s special, they shared that they love the time with our neighbors. They love helping, but most of all, they love sharing the stories. So on Saturday, join us at the table. Pull up a chair, eat some favorite foods, and share in some life stories. There’s a place that has been set for you.