Giving Thanks

fullsizerender“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” G.K. Chesterton

Is there anyone besides me who thinks that our traditional Thanksgiving holiday has gone missing?

No one on the planet loves Christmas more than me. The holy majestic miraculous celebration! The food, the gatherings, the music, the people!

What I don’t love is feeling smothered by a heavy blanket of marketing that demands, “more More MORE  and rush Rush RUSH!” In social media, print ads and big box stores (ugh) every imaginable trinket, doodad, tchotchke, article of clothing, kitchen item, decoration, game, plastic toy is heaped on burgeoning shelves. I’ve often reminded my organizing clients, “The goal of manufacturers is to create profit, not to improve your life.” I don’t mean to be a grouch, but honestly is that what Christmas is really all about?

Thanksgiving is almost here. I’m laying out the fall decorations I’ve had for so many years. Simple traditions tie us together and remind us that in ongoing change some things are the same. We are always family. I’ll make my easy chocolate clusters just so I can fill the glass pumpkin-shaped jar that came from a discount store thirty plus years ago.

Think of me as the self-designated Keeper of the Thanksgiving Light. The flame is waning—it’s brightness dimmed by blinding lights clamoring for compulsive shopping and excess. The lighthouse calls gently and rhythmically to those who’d listen. “Remember to pause, be thankful, breathe. Remember who you are, what’s most important and how to really love your people.”

Let’s call to mind all the real gifts we’ve undeservingly received. Sometimes we are moving too fast to notice. Thanksgiving beckons us to pause, open our eyes to the present moment and to wait a little longer before the foray into frenzy.

My Thanksgiving gift to you is a recipe for the simplest and best pumpkin bread ever, especially when you spiff it up with my favorite addition!


3 Cups Sugar

1 Cup Oil

4 Eggs

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2/3 Cup water

2 Cups Pumpkin (one 15 oz. can)

3 1/3 Cups Flour

1 Cup Raisins (optional) OR my personal favorite: 1 Cup Chocolate Chips!

Mix ingredients together in a large bowl and pour into 3 greased and floured loaf pans (8 inch or 9 inch). Bake 1 hour @ 350 degrees. Cool briefly before turning out.











6 thoughts on “Giving Thanks

  • November 21, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    I’ve used this same recipe my whole life! I got it from my mom. It’s the best!

    • November 23, 2016 at 2:07 am

      Hi Laura! The same recipe!? I hadn’t seen this one until several years ago. It’s really a great one. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • November 21, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    I love your post! I have several party’s I am going to and I plan on fixing this! Praying you and your sweet family have a blessed Thanksgiving!

  • November 21, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    Thank you Myra. Well said. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Getting together with family and friends just to remember and give thanks for each other and the many blessings we have in each other and the provisions God has provided. It was after a very hard start that the early settlers were able to celebrate the simple gift of survival and realize how they needed to pause and give thanks.

  • November 22, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    Could we also get the Easy chocolate clusters recipe? 😋

    • November 25, 2016 at 8:58 pm

      Hi Cynthia!
      1 lb. of chocolate melted (can be the white or dark chocolate “coating” that’s sold in packages.)
      2 cups broken pretzels
      2 cups peanuts
      mix together and drop from spoonfuls onto waxed paper; cool and enjoy!


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