Category Archives: Holidays

A Jar of Gratitude

Around this time last year, I was practically bedridden because of a major knee injury, our housing situation was uncertain, and I wasn’t sure where my career was going. I was depressed, anxious, and worst of all, I felt stuck.

During this period, I noticed a lot of people on Facebook posting about gratitude jars. It was a simple idea: every day, write down things that you’re thankful for on slips of paper and put them in a jar.

I don’t know why, but something about this interested me. Stirred out of my torpor, I got a really big jar, and I committed to writing down three good things that happened each day. I would make it my New Year’s resolution and start January 1.

Shortly after I started this practice, an amazing thing happened. I was able to walk normally—without crutches or a cane. It wasn’t a miracle and largely due to my amazing physical therapist. However, once I started to focus on the positive aspects of my life, other big things started to happen. I got an amazing job offer. I went on an unexpected fabulous trip to Costa Rica. I started cooking again.

I have faithfully put three good things every day in my gratitude jar, and by the end of the year, I will have over 1,000 things that I’m grateful for in my jar.

On New Year’s Eve, I plan to literally count all of my blessings and read all of the good things that happened in the past year. Then I’ll get a new jar ready for 2014.

Today I’m living with my family in a new house, I have a great job, and I’m starting to run again.

I am grateful that I have much to eat and much to love.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Gratitude jar

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Filed under Essays, Holidays, NaBloPoMo 2013

Thanksgiving Timing Advice from Allrecipes

Like thousands of people across America, I am in a slight panic because Thanksgiving is just a few days away, and I AM NOT READY.

My husband is the youngest of five siblings, and we will be cooking a Thanksgiving meal for 16 of his family members. SIXTEEN! Neither my husband or I have prepared a turkey before. We will be roasting a 22-pound bird, which will take 4 to 4 1/2 hours to cook.

We only have one oven. What I’m finding most daunting is orchestrating a cooking strategy that will enable us to get all of the food on the table at the same time and to serve it hot.

Fortunately, the culinary brain trust at Allrecipes created this useful chart and a video that provides a comprehensive plan for getting it all done–including wine breaks. Brilliant.

Thanksgiving Timed Right by Allrecipes

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Filed under Holidays, NaBloPoMo 2013, Savory, Sweet

Rejoice! Salmon is $7.99/lb

great-buys-just-for-lent.jpg
Lent, the 40-day Christian observance before Easter, is a time of prayer, fasting, almsgiving and as far as my local grocer is concerned, seafood sales.

I’m Catholic and abstain from eating meat and poultry Fridays during Lent. So part of me sees the ad and thinks, “Great! Now I know where to get a good deal on red snapper.”

Another part of me thinks this ad is strange and somewhat inappropriate. Lent is a somber and penitential time, not a time for “great buys.”

Must every celebration, holiday and observance also be an occasion to try and make a buck?

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Filed under Holidays