Yesterday I traveled to my Mom’s house in San Diego. This year I met my son there instead of traveling together, as he took a pre-birthday trip (he’s turning 18 next month!) to Los Angeles to see some friends and have some of what he likes to call “uncle-son” time.

Thanksgiving has been the holiday my parents have claimed for decades now, calling all west coast family to feast at their table. The tradition with my parents began when they lived in Colorado. During those years, my late husband (then boyfriend), Isamu and I would pack our warmest clothes and boots in preparation for the Colorado chill. We’d stuff our bags with sweaters and prepare for the mixed blessings of a family gathering.

You likely know what I mean by the mixed blessings of family gatherings.

There was always the comfort of being in the folds of my parents home. In those early years there was also the nervousness of bringing my boyfriend into the mix; the fun of planning and preparing an extravagant meal; the satisfaction of eating the homemade goodness; and the inevitable tension around clean-up time. (A holiday pitfall that would arise due to my dad’s propensity to run a tight ship without necessarily informing anyone of his plan-of-action.)

As I stand in the kitchen now, rolling out gluten-free pie-crusts and creating the designs on top of a pumpkin hazelnut tart with my niece, it’s inevitable for me to be brought back to those memories of holidays past. Isamu was the best pie edge crimper I’ve ever known. And his love for food was so sensual that I was always so grateful to cook for him.
Those memories that I savor are ones of starting and building a family—of something that felt like spring in the midst of autumn.
Once again I return to the comfort of being in the folds of my Mom’s (warmer!) home, and I rise to the exciting challenge and fun of helping to prepare an extravagant meal to meet the differing dietary restrictions of everyone around the table. I look forward to the satisfaction of what I’m sure will be a meal prepared with love and gratitude and, most importantly, shared with those who have been a part of my past, present and future Thanksgivings.

I even think we figured out how to skirt one of our biggest holiday pitfalls…the holiday dinner clean-up. For that I give thanks!
This Thanksgiving I celebrate life, as Isamu did, and as I know he would have wanted his family to do. I celebrate my dad, who used to tend to the turkey with so much love and attention, and in whose memory we will carve with the utmost care. And I celebrate you, and all the steps you have taken this year to support your own true vibrancy and improved health.
I hope your plates are filled with the blessed patterns that holidays can offer…

  • the return to tradition (old or adapted)
  • faith in life and those around you
  • the bounty that surrounds you (no matter how big or small)
  • the promise that the year ahead holds
  • sweet remembrance of the people whose bodies no longer grace you at the table but whose presence is collectively held
  • and the gratitude that a meal shared with family and friends, or even chosen solitude, can bring

Before you turn your attention to the festivities, take time to read, post or share these special holiday tips to tackle holiday pitfalls from the whole Functional Nutrition Alliance Nutrition team, collected just for you!

download 8 Thanksgiving Tips to Tackle Holiday Pitfalls
Wishing you warmth, gratitude and holiday wishes!


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