giving thanks

Happy hump day you guys! We are halfway through the week and only 8 days out from Thanksgiving. It may be unpopular, but I like to take it one holiday at a time. This means you will not find my tree up until after Thanksgiving, nor will I have started celebrating the Christmas holiday before my favorite holiday officially ends. I have to fully cherish Thanksgiving before I can embrace Christmas because I believe the message of Thanksgiving is too important to be overlooked. Over the years things can change – the places, the people that attend, and the dishes – but one thing that’s constant is our full hearts and fuller tummies as we give thanks for our blessings on Thanksgiving Day.

As a child, Thanksgiving always took place at my great grandmothers home. She would make her old family recipes and include recipes of her own, she would do it all without any help – I still don’t know how she did it. As she got older my mother slowly took over the cooking and Thanksgiving started to take place at our family home instead. Each Thanksgiving holiday was so special during the time my great grandmother was alive because we were cooking her recipes for her. She was the head of our family, she had always brought us all together. We wanted her to feel special when she came to our home on Thanksgiving; it was time for her to be served and catered to.

Reflecting on past Thanksgivings can be sad because honestly, my family has lost a lot of our family members in the past two years. When my mothers mom, my Nana, passed away it was especially hard. I’d never known great loss before her, it shattered my mom and therefore shattered me. My Nana would bring her signature dish to dinner, sweet potatoes, and she would cook them in a way my mother and I still can’t mimic to this day. My mom’s father passed away shortly after she passed, then my great uncle not even 6 months later. Finally, my great grandmother, our Meme. It’s still hard to sit around our table with less chairs and miss those familiar faces.

I know I’ll never experience Thanksgiving the same without them, we all have only the memories to hold onto now. But with the passing of time brings new faces to the table and new traditions, our hearts are full because of the chairs that are filled. This year we will celebrate the holiday just the same with those special family recipes that fill our tummies and never expire. I don’t fast forward into Christmas celebration because Thanksgiving is deserving of it’s day; it’s dedicated to being thankful for those we hold dear to our hearts. It’s a time where loss isn’t the reminder to realize what we have, but a joyous day to realize these blessings. Enjoy the special day with your loved ones, hug your people extra tight, be grateful and be thankful this Thanksgiving.

This outfit is perfect for a Thanksgiving dinner! You can hide that 3rd helping, I’m referring to the stretchy waistband on these leggings and the looseness of the sweater, but it’s also dressy, formal and affordable. I found my multi-colored sweater and velvet leggings at Target,Β of course, and knew it could be an outfit I could wear into December for some holiday parties! I am a fan of ugly Christmas sweaters but I prefer the pretty, sparkly ones; at $25 this was a total steal (it’s currently $20 online)! Same with these leggings, you can easily drop $50+ on a similar pair of velvet leggings or you could just go to Target and spend $16 – its a no-brainer. I played up this look with these black, leather midi-boots and black Coach wristlet. To bring out the sparkle in my sweater I paired some gold bangle bracelets with a gold Kendra druzy necklace and gold disk drop earrings – all pieces I’ve had in my closet! The end result was an outfit fit for Thanksgiving dinner or a holiday party, your choice.

As always,

Ara

Sweater: Target | Velvet Leggings: Target | Booties: (identical from Steve Madden)| Wristlet: Coach

 

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