I’m glad you are here to celebrate! Share a link to your blog post below and/or use #celebratelu to share celebrations on Twitter. Check out the details here. Celebrate This Week goes live on Friday night around 10(ish). Consider it as a weekend celebration. Whenever it fits, add your link. Please leave a little comment love for the person who links before you.

We’ve been working on celebrating small around my house. I like seeing the details in the world — the tiny that somehow when collected add up to the major moments that make a life.

Butterhorns — I made these because they are a must-have at my friend Deb’s Thanksgiving table. I thought of Deb all day as I followed her handwritten recipe, going through the same steps that I knew she follows.

Rainbow Ribbon Jello — A 12 layer Jello dish that someone (I don’t know who) brought to the Mother-Daughter Banquet at the church I grew-up in. I used to love it! Then a pastor and his wife made it when Andy and I were first married and they had us over for dinner.  I told my mom all about it and Mom pulled out the recipe from her card file and gave it to me over the phone. I scribbled it on a strawberry note sheet. Every time I make it people gush about the time it takes. It’s not exactly time-consuming, it just needs time. (It’s proof that I’m learning to plan ahead.) I carry the glass dish of Rainbow Jello to its spot on the counter and I smile, remembering the Mother-Daughter Banquets and Glenn and Sue and our very first home with the strawberry note sheets.

Mamaw Hancock’s Cornbread Stuffing — I remembered this stuffing at the first Thanksgiving Andy invited me to with his mom’s side of the family. We flew to Arkansas and I met his grandparents. In the South you eat Cornbread Stuffing (whether you think you like stuffing or not). I was shocked to find out I liked it. This year I texted Carolyn for the recipe and wrote it in thick black indelible marker on a recipe card. Generations of Andy’s family have been making Cornbread Stuffing and I’m happy to be among them.

Mom’s Pies — My mom took care of the pies this year. (Yum!) I can roll her pie dough, too. This is significant because it one of my oldest memories of my mom — watching her roll pie dough at the end of the kitchen table. My mom also made the turkey, the date pudding, the gravy, and the three pies (dutch apple, pecan, and pumpkin). She took the pressure off of me and made hosting a joy. I relished the sweet fact that my parents live close and are enjoyable to be around, both on holidays and ordinary days.

Ham — Carolyn sent a Honey Baked Ham and my kids broke into a Dance Party when they came home from school and saw the box waiting. “It feels like Christmas,” they said as it warmed on Thanksgiving Day. I love this. I love that there are traditions that are becoming part of the their cores. Ham and Rainbow Ribbon  Jello — they feel like Christmas.

And Christmas is coming. Sunday marks the start of Advent. Collecting stories and nourishing souls — this is my daily celebration offering throughout Advent season. Think of it as opening the door on an Advent calendar and stop over each day as I mark the days with gritty, genuine, and radical stories until Christmas.


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  1. I, too, am working on celebrating small. I love that!! Rainbow Jello? 12 layers? Sounds amazing!! Thanks for inspiring the celebration, even when it's not easy to celebrate! I'm grateful to you for that!

  2. Thanks Ruth for sharing your stories about Thanksgiving. Our lder children this year asked a lot of questions about why we do this or eat this? It's fun to pass down the traditions while establishing new ones.

  3. Love the stories of food! Traditions and food go hand in hand. I'm so looking forward to finding your stories in my inbox each day of Advent. You always touch my heart with your stories.

  4. I'll write my post tomorrow, company still here! But wanted to say I love your food stories, Ruth, & where you wrote them! We have a 'jello' dish called 'pink stuff''. It's whipped strawberry Jello with whipped cream, pineapple and strawberries. Just now, the young girls are learning about it. It was a staple at Arvie's mother's Thanksgiving, and so we carry on! Happy celebrations!

  5. I always love hearing about different family traditions. It was an extra special treat to see the glimpses back in your life, as well as the glimpses forward knowing that your kids are noticing the traditions.

  6. I can't wait to read your reflections during Advent. My next goal as a writer is to spend some time exploring my Faith story. Also, I love 12 layered jello. I haven't seen it since I was at a church basement potluck. 🙂

  7. We have a jello dish that I make that I learned one year when we had Thanksgiving at our Pastor's home. His mother made it and it was fantastic. I make it most years now. She taught me now that day. I love your focus on small celebrations. 🙂