Tuesday, November 26, 2019

A Humble Thanksgiving and a Giveaway

Library of Congress: Sunday Dinner at the Martinetti Home, December, 1942, New York.

This Thanksgiving will be a simple one for us.  I am used to large family gatherings with grandparents, children, and grandchildren.  Last year was the first small dinner with only my husband and I, along one little grand-baby, to enjoy the meal. This year it may only be two of us that will be here. Sometimes my grown children may surprise me and visit at some point, but it is not always possible once they are older with families of their own, job commitments, and difficulty with traveling. This is normal and okay.  I will get phone calls of well wishes and that will be wonderful.

I am used to a large grocery list of all the necessities from our traditional dinners from my childhood.  This year, I have decided to spend less in order to conserve money for other needs.  We will still have things like pumpkin pie and apple pie, but without the ice cream.  We will have dinner rolls, cranberry sauce, corn, turkey, stuffing, gravy, and mashed potatoes. I bought most of these items a few weeks ago, when the prices were all low.  It will still be lovely, even without the extras we are used to, such as cheese and crackers, fresh grapes, apple cider, nuts, chocolate cream pie, and a vegetable tray.  I think, at times, we get so used to wanting an abundance of food that we may end up spending more than we can afford.  This year we will have a humble Thanksgiving and we will enjoy it very much.

I remember always dressing up for dinner.  We wore our nicest clothes, much like one would for the old time Sunday Dinners after church.  Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday and a special time of giving thanks to the Lord for our blessings.  I still insist the family wear their nicest clothing, and have great joy in looking our best for the occasion.  I will do this, even if it is just the two of us. (But since my husband is disabled and has a great deal of physical difficulties, I may just request he wear his nicest lounging clothes!)

My mother would set the table with her best dishes. She used her nicest serving bowls and everything looked so beautiful.  This was part of presenting one's best in thanks for all we have been given.  I will do this as well.  I will not mind doing all the dishes.  I will just take my time.  We will dine with my nicest tableware, the prettiest tablecloth, and beautiful cloth napkins.  I do not have a seasonal set of dishes (such as one called "Friendly Village") but someday I hope to have one added to my household. I love seeing the gorgeous table settings of others, but have accepted that it is not a practical expense for me, at this time,  I love pretty things, but will happily wait, and dream about having them someday.

Our humble table will be managed with gracious hospitality.  It will be a peaceful and pleasant day. We will have prayers, and read the Thanksgiving Proclamation by George Washington. I have this printed out, and saved, to bring out each year.  It will be a simple day of thanks and happiness.

 I would like to offer a giveaway:

  I would like to give away a copy of my newest book:
"An Old Fashioned Budget: Humble Financial Management for the Christian Housewife."  It is paperback, 77 pages.

You can find out about this book on my previous post - "An Old Fashioned Budget."

 (If you have already read the book, it would be so helpful to me if you would leave a review on amazon.)

To enter for a chance to win a copy of this book, all you have to do is leave me a comment, telling me about a humble Thanksgiving.  

This may be how you afford the groceries for this special meal.  Or how your grandmother made an affordable Thanksgiving dinner for your family. Perhaps you have a wonderful childhood memory or something from your own home, hosting the dinner yourself.   What ways do you budget your grocery money to afford all the food?  What advice can you give for setting a welcoming table?

Whatever you would like to share about your Thanksgiving would be a blessing for us all to read!  Just commenting here will enter you into the contest for a chance to win a copy of this book.

One random winner we be selected on Monday, December 2, 2019. (U.S.  Entries only.) If I am unable to reach the winner within 48 hours, an alternate winner will be selected. Your entry is only valid if you include a way for me to contact you. 

[Edited Update - This giveaway is now closed. The winner is "Judy." She has already been contacted and will receive her copy of the book soon. Thank you all so much for entering!]

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Remembering a visit to Plimouth Plantation - Preparing for a New England Thanksgiving.

Ideas For Happiness - The House Comes First.

What Many of Us Crave - An Ordinary Life at Home.

Find Home-keeping Inspiration, in Mrs.White's book,

 -Mother's Book of Home Economics: Remembrances, Letters and Essays from a New England Housewife .  

Paperback, 312 pages.


Hidden Haven Homestead said...

Our children and grandchildren are grown are grown. They all live several hours from us so don't see each other often. We just don't have it in our budget to travel to any of their homes this Thanksgiving so ours well be a quiet Thanksgiving for just the 2 of us. I purchased a 14 lb. turkey cheaper than I could get a nice turkey breast. We will be able to have leftovers and also freeze the rest for later as well as make soups. Thanks to canning and freezing we will have green beans, creamed corn,mashed potatoes, gravy, yeast rolls with sweet potato pie and apple pie for dessert. We will give thanks for our many blessings,family, and friends. We hope to see some family at Christmas but shall have to wait and see. This year has been a very lean and frugal year for us but I have enjoyed it. I like things simple.

Elizabethd said...

Well, sadly there is no such thing as Thanksgiving in England, though there surely should be.
However, perhaps i can tell you about our Christmas . Like your husband, Mrs White, my husband is also disabled and blind. We have very simple meals now to make it easier for him, and he has asked if we could have something lighter than the Christmas turkey this year. So I am gradually shopping for the freezer, some salmon, a few prawns, a sort of seafood salad will suit us well.
Children will be coming in during the day also but doing their own cooking! I used to love preparing a large Christmas dinner but those days are over now.
I cant enter your giveaway as I'm not in USA, but it is a lovely idea anyway.

Mama Said No said...

I was raised by my grandparents, who were quite elderly. I never had a turkey at Thanksgiving, but my Granny would always bake a chicken, and we had potatoes, gravy, dressing, and a pumpkin pie. I never felt deprived at the holidays, even if I saw huge feasts on the television. Now with my family of three, we sometimes go to a family gathering, but most of the time we stay at home and eat a simple meal, and we rest. God bless you and your family, dear lady. Have the most thankful Thanksgiving ever!

Joyful said...

Your Thanksgiving plans sound wonderful. My humblest Thanksgivings have to be last year. Normally I would make all the essential Thanksgiving dishes like you are doing and add the extras (veggie tray, cheese and crackers and so on) and invite an extra person or two for dinner. The past 2 years, the physical effort was too much for me. I thought maybe I would not even bother with the special dinner. Thankfully I changed my mind. Last year I simply made a chicken instead of turkey for Thanksgiving, stove top stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn niblets, cranberry sauce and stuffing. I think I purchased a pumpkin pie and made home made whipped cream. It was just 2 of us for the meal but it was a special meal nonetheless. Thanksgiving is always a special time of year and I would hate to let it pass by without doing something nice for dinner. This year it was much the same though I managed to actually find a smallish turkey and made it along with the other things I made last year. It was tasty (I think the best bird yet) and we had leftovers for a long time. I wish you and your husband a very wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving

Joyful said...

P.S.I'm in Canada so I cannot enter your giveaway but wanted to leave a comment anyway.

Amelia said...

I'm so excited to have ordered your new book and already received it! I'll be sure to leave a review when I finish this sweet book. Just from flipping through the book I can see it will resonate with my heart.

I plan on sharing this sweet book on my blog as soon as I finish reading it, as I think your books are wonderful and love sharing about them! I've bought copies of many of your books and given them to my daughters to glean from too. I raised our daughters very similarly. : )

This Thanksgiving we are so blessed to have our four daughters here, two married daughters with our son in loves with two new little grandsons. Everyone helps with bringing a dish. Christmas will be a little different so our real Christmas may be New Years Eve.

Love your blog, love your books too! Who can't love Mrs. White? *big smile* I thank God for sweet blogging friends like you!

Thanksgiving Blessings! ~Amelia

Deanna said...

Hello Mrs. White. May you have a very lovely Thanksgiving. Our meal will be simpler than most other years where we have had a baked turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes with gravy, corn, green bean casserole, deviled eggs, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie with whipped cream and pecan pie. This year I have cut way back. I bought a ham earlier in the year where if you buy a ham a free turkey is thrown in. I've done this before which makes for several meals. This year I had the butcher thinly slice the ham. This awaits us in the freezer for ham sandwiches. I baked the turkey earlier, carved it and froze it for turkey sandwiches. This year our Thanksgiving meal will be spicy olives, turkey and ham sandwiches with sliced cheese, hot dogs, bagged chips, organic spring salad, Mac 'n cheese, pumpkin pie with whipped cream. This year we are going extremely casual and eating on paper plates. I know our young grandchildren will enjoy this much casual meal. Next year, Lord willing I will return to the traditional meal. Due to some health issues we are going really really casual. We'll still give THANKS and share what we are thankful for. Then we will begin decorating for CHRISTMAS!!! God Bless you and yours. All the best, d

Unknown said...

Hello Mrs. White,
I remember my mother making her own rolls and bringing them to the table with a linen napkin folded over them to keep warm. She also had a few signature dishes that i wish I could find the recipe, it was cranberry and pineapple, plus pecans, jello served on a lettuce leaf. I am now making our own Thanksgiving and I am now including baked carrots in the oven with olive oil / parsley, as my daughter likes them. Also, a few years ago, I needed a table decoration and Natalie (age 6) trotted outside to bring in some pinecones from a neighbor. With the addition of some construction paper and pipe cleaners, the pinecones became our table decorations that year! Humble, but fun and home spun. Have a very Happy and Peaceful Thanksgiving! Paige

A Journey For Life said...

We haven't lived near family in over 15 years, some of the first few were hard to celebrate. However, I have learned it is about the place you are and the people you are with at the moment. So much to give thanks for.

Schaefer Clan said...

My first thanksgiving with my husband, I was on complete bedrest for a pregnancy. My husband and his father and I (with directions from the bed) put together a nice little feast for the three of us. It was humble and humbling and full of thanks (and despite all odds, PTL, our baby made it and is now 12). Thanks for your encouraging homemaking words! His, Nancy

Mary Ann said...

Wishing you a delightful Thanksgiving season Mrs. White. We will also have a quiet day. We will actually have our family Thanksgiving day in a couple weeks when we can also be together.

Mary Ann said...

I have been a subscriber for a long time!! I enjoy your posts and have purchased quite a few of your books. Don't have your new one yet. Happy Thanksgiving.

Cheryl said...

It was such a joy to read the comments here of precious Thanksgiving memories. Our home and dining room table used to be packed full on Thanksgiving. These days, it is just my dear husband, our precious son, and me. We will have a simple day with a simple everyday meal this year, Lord willing. Much has changed in our lives and this year has been especially challenging for us, but oh, we have SO much to be thankful for - not only on Thanksgiving, but every day. I am SO thankful for my dear family and all of God's goodness. He is worthy of all our praise and devotion. Thank you for the chance to win your giveaway, and I hope you and your husband have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!

lorie said...

I was grown, married, and had one child. Every Thanksgiving we would go to my parent's house. We would stuff ourselves as many people do. Slumped on the couch we would groan when my dad would ask us what kind of pie we wanted to take home with us. The thought of eating more made us gag. He would pack us big sandwiches too. Guess what? Those sandwiches never made it to our house. We would eat them on the ride home!

Patty B said...

Over the years Thanksgiving has always been a quiet holiday for my husband and I, since our relatives all live quite far away and our travel budget is usually very slim. In recent years we have driven to the Twin Cities to visit my son, but this year the snowstorm there made travel out of the question. I am a vegetarian so I don't eat turkey anyway, and my husband does not like turkey. We usually have plenty of other seasonal food dishes to eat. Thanksgiving is not so much what a person eats, but a day to give thanks to God. We feel that every day is Thanksgiving! Even when it is just the two of us, I do like you do: set an elegant table with the best linens and dishes, make a good feast complete with desserts, and we make the day special by dressing up in our best clothes. We sometimes play games together like Scrabble or some other board game. We call family and friends on the phone and enjoy long distance conversations. It upsets me greatly when I hear modern day comments about Thanksgiving being "turkey day". I always tell people that Thanksgiving is not a day to glorify the American turkey! It is also not a day to shop. This year we will be spending the day with a couple church friends and their family members. It will be somewhat of a pot luck dinner. Thank you for the opportunity to enter the contest to win your latest book. You are very generous!

Unknown said...

I can not answer this question with a memory. I am 44 years old and have the memory of a much older person. I do not have any childhood memories, only a couple tramatic things I remember. I do not honestly remember ANY of my childhood holidays, and hardly remember any of my adult years. But I surely enjoy your stories and am desiring to read your book to see what new wisdom I can glean from it. May your humble Thanksgiving be blessed. I know my every day is blessed by God's grace and love and try hard to cherish every single minute since I know I wont remember much of it.

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

May you and your family have a lovely, peaceful and joy filled Thanksgiving.

I have a sweet memory of fixing my very first turkey. We had been married for several years and I'd never made a turkey. One year a young man where my husband was working won a free fresh turkey and since he was single, he gave it to my husband. I read in my cookbooks how to do it and when I pulled it out of the oven, it looked like a 'Norman Rockwell' turkey, beautifully golden. It was juicy also. Relatives came over to drop something off just as I was pulling it out of the oven and when they saw the turkey they couldn't believe it was my first one.

My dear husband and I had most holidays to ourselves and enjoyed them. I have enjoyed fixing us special meals ever since we were newlyweds living on minimal US Navy wages. At the time, I realized I could make really nice meals just by following recipes. We had lean years and saw better years, God always saw us through. While my dear husband is with Jesus right now, I am thankful for the 43 years we had as husband and wife. I'm thankful to Jesus for His tender care, comfort, peace and joy during this journey of widowhood. He is my strength each and every day.

Whoever wins your book I know will be encouraged in being a better stewardess of what God blesses them with. Thank you for the give-away.

Love, hugs & prayers for you and your family ~ FlowerLady

Nancy On The Home Front said...

I loved reading about your Thanksgiving plans.This year is the first time in many years that we will be celebrating with our grown children and their families. My daughter is hosting but delegated parts of the meals to other siblings. that way it's not a big expense for anyone and we can just enjoy being together. For me just being together with family is a blessing. In recent years it has just been my husband and I, we'll have a nice meal but we keep it simple.



gail said...

Wishing you a very happy a peace filled Thanksgiving from way across the sea. Here in Australia we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving . Christmas is our time for celebrating.
Blessings to you and yours
From Gail in Australia.

lynn maust said...

We always went to an Aunt's for Thanksgiving...on the Main Line area of Philadelphia, Pa. They lived in a large house with a walled court yard and an entrance hall with large black and white tiles on the floor...and long stairway leading to the second floor. My aunt always had mashed turnips on the menu. We children never liked those, but she made us all eat at least ONE bite, or we couldn't leave the table. She told us it was 'tradition' to eat turnips. Eventually, at an older age, I grew to like them.

Judy said...

I am a widow and my grown children live far away. We are in close contact, but we will not be seeing each other tomorrow. I have been invited to the home of friends and I am so grateful. Actually, I am grateful for the abundant blessings that our Father has given me each day! In the past month, many trials have come my way suddenly and there is much uncertainty. Only on my end...our Father knows and sees all! It is a chance to grow my faith muscle and really believe the words of The Lord's Prayer, "give us this day our daily bread". He will not fail us or forsake us. He is our provider always! Choosing to trust and choosing joy can be a struggle sometimes, but I realize I must rejoice in the Lord always as written in Philippians 4, with the help of the Holy Spirit. What better time to be thankful than today! Every day should be a day of thanksgiving.
Thank you for offering to give away a copy of your book!
May you have a lovely day tomorrow, filled with the joy and peace of Jesus.


Dana said...

I really enjoyed reading everyone's memories! To the reader who is wishing for the recipe for cranberry/pineapple jello -- that is my mom's signature recipe too and if she would like to contact me, I can share it! Since we live far from family and my husband and son are in the travel industry, we had an abbreviated Thanksgiving Monday night. Everyone was very surprised since I didn't warn them before dinner. Roast chicken and a few sides and a special dessert. Tomorrow I will roast another chicken for my 2 other children at home. I'm looking forward to a quiet day. Thanking God for His many blessings!

harterhouse said...

Happy Thanksgiving ! Growing up we were always blessed to get stuffed at a meal at both of my grandparents' homes in he same small, southern town. Everyone brought something, the grandmas got up early to put the turkey in the oven. Homemade everything -including cornbread dressing , the only thing bought pre made were dinner rolls. Every adult brought some delicious dessert. Now that my grandparents have passed on, divorce has multiplied the family, my husband and I are left to create new traditions for our family of ten. Each year it seems something new. This year we are travelling to my dad and stepmother's home and condo and will be joining another large family for thanksgiving dinner. And, for the first time ever, my adult son will not be with us as he will spend the holiday on a mission trip in Costa Rica. I am grateful we have so much family to choose from, and we are very blessed to get to bring a turkey, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pies, and sweet potato casserole to the feast. And we are blessed to get to travel and stay away from home for a few days. We will have Florida's best mild weather to enjoy outdoors and we are healthy. So much to count as blessings.
I don't just hope to win your book, I need to read your perspective and have wise counsel. :) Blessings to you and yours !

happyathome said...

we live in New Zealand so do not have the Thanksgiving tradition like folk in the USA but i would like to comment about the day . Often it is portrayed on TV as a very lavish occasion in reality and also in movies . I have always thought that i am sure it was not that way for many years as the settlers were breaking in land in a new country and would have eaten what they had on hand/hunted or what they could afford. There would have been everyday type crockery and maybe a special dish but not the whole table settings that people do now . Like Christmas it is all commercialisation and it is so sad. And what is with the Black Friday sales thing?? NZ is now embracing that also and it does my head in to even think about it. It is not hard to have a pretty table with what you have on hand. Use your everyday crockery and go and get greenery to put in glass bottles on the table with a few candles. That looks very pretty and for free. Surely the most important thing is everyone being grateful that they can be together and for what the Lord has done for them the last 12 months. You are very sensible Mrs White. It is a breath of fresh air to read of your plans

Sarah said...

Our thanksgiving is a huge affair. When my great grandmother was living, each of her children wanted to spend the holiday with her. So as a compromise, they decided to all enjoy the day together so none of them would be without her. She's gone, but we still continue the tradition. There are usually 60-80 people in attendance. Now, that might not seem "humble" but it is! See, none of us has much, but we each bring what we can and we enjoy a bounteous meal without any one family or individual spending much. I'm bringing broccoli salad and homemade cookies. My family of 10 will enjoy all the food and fellowship and it isn't a burden to our scanty pocketbook.

bina said...

I will always remember Thanksgiving in my family. We had all the aunts and uncles over with all the children and any friends who didn't have anywhere to be. There were many of us in Southern California. The cooking and financial pressures were spread out amongst all the households. I suppose you could call it a pot luck. Mom would make the turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. I would make fudge, Jello-O salad, and gravy (once my aunt taught me how). We all had our specialties and were asked to make them each year at every major holiday. About 10 years ago the extended family started moving all over the world as the cousins started having little ones and spouses of their own. But I still remember fondly. And as mother and I prepare our Thanksgiving for the three of us now, we will wear our best clothes, aprons, and use the lovely china.
Noelle harenoelle@gmail.com

Kay said...

Dear Mrs. White,
I'm sure it is sad to not have all of your family for the day...I still miss my dear mom and dad so much on these special occasions. To be frugal, our family meets at my niece's home and we all bring something. That way it's not too hard on anyone and we are able to share a delicious meal. I love to just sit and talk and enjoy the day, even if we had to eat a bologna sandwich...we could still say with certainty that we've been richly blessed! Sure hope to win the book and if not, maybe can afford to order it soon.
Blessings to you & yours,
Kay W.

ilovemyfamily said...

Our Thanksgiving celebrations are usually simple and budget friendly. Since I have 5 children 5 and under I need to keep things simple. I'm either pregnant or nursing a newborn during the holidays. I keep this budget friendly by sticking to a simple menu like turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and green beans and apple slump. I cook from scratch and buy ingredients in advance if they are on sale. I gave birth to our 7th child a week ago so this week we are going to a friend's house to celebrate. I really need to keep our budget even more under control now so this book would be a blessing to us. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Tea with Tracy said...

In South Africa we do not celebrate Thanksgiving. However, my family know many American families as our Church was planted by Americans, and we serve with an American youth missions and ministry organization, so we are invited to Thanksgiving somewhere, with someone every year. This year we are joining the staff and volunteers and families at the mission base. They operate on a tight, shoestring budget. To bless them, I offered to make the turkey, ham and stuffing. My husband has had a good year at work so we have plenty to share, and are so glad to be able to do so over this holiday which we know is special to our American friends. We may not have a shared heritage or history, but we are thankful for them and their service.

Henri said...

I appreciate your blog posts very much! I am a new subscriber. We will also have very quiet ,humble Thanksgiving! God Blessings to you all! Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

This year was a simple Thanksgiving. We took our free (20 lb!) turkey and the fixings and prepared the meal at my parent's home. Turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn casserole. With the free turkey and using my home canned beans and turkey bone broth our cost was less than $8.

Kathy said...

Well, my parents both worked together preparing our Thanksgiving. My mother cooked everything from scratch, grew and canned our food. Her best dishes that we used came from soap boxes in the 50s. The meal was begun with prayer and was so wonderful. I felt like I was rich! Even the wine was made by them. Compared to modern life today they showed me humble ways. I would do anything to have one more day with them and am thankful for what they taught me.

Tammy said...

I enjoyed so much reading all the comments of other readers' Thanksgiving memories and thoughts! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because of the simplicity, generosity, and purpose of it - to remember and give thanks to God. Growing up we celebrated with my family of 5 as our extended family lived in Wisconsin and we had moved to Indiana. We traveled to them for Christmas, but Thanksgiving was just us. My mom made the traditional food (Turkey, dressing, gravy,homemade rolls, sides, pumpkin pie) and my dad and siblings helped her. She had special plates that she had purchased one by one with grocery stamps that she earned with her weekly grocery purchases. Over the years we have celebrated with family in different ways as we have families of our own now, and often friends join us, too, if they can't visit their own families. The best part is being together with time to visit and play board games, etc, and have thankful hearts. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Mommyof3blessed said...

Thank you for your blog it always inspires me to be the best mom and wife I can be. We had a very simple Thanksgiving with a simple meal from thing I had bought on sale throughout the year. We enjoyed just being together. It was my husbands first thanksgiving off in five years. Thank you for all you do.

Kellie said...

I really enjoy reading your blog which gives me a peaceful feeling, and focus on the Lord. This Thanksgiving I have been sick so we were not able to be with our extended family. It was difficult to cook due to how I was feeling, but we were so thankful to have food to prepare. My young adult daughter helped me, so I am thankful for that time together. My husband and I also have a disabled young adult son. I have struggled with food prices and groceries for years to feed the four of us, and we eat very simply compared to others I know, very frugal with our groceries. I have tried coupons, sales, membership stores (we no longer have a membership), with no success. Finally we are doing better with having enough by purchasing in bulk from Azure Standard. I know this will not suit everyone, but we love it and are very grateful not to be struggling with having enough food to last the month! We are so thankful to the Lord! Thank you for your writings, as they are encouraging to me.

Mrs. White said...

I want to thank everyone so much for sharing your memories and plans. We all enjoyed reading them and are inspired!

The contest is now closed. I updated the post to include the name of the winner. Thank you all so much for entering!