The Tablecloth {Holiday Celebrations in Perspective}


Holidays are always a joy-filled time with family. So much fun, so much food, and so much turmoil. I always have struggled with where to go each year and what family to celebrate what holiday with.

My mom had a tablecloth.

A holiday tablecloth that donned the beautiful table in our family dining room. This tablecloth came with a slew of black permanent markers and at the direction of my mom, we were instructed to sign the tablecloth with our name and date. At the inception of this, I thought this was a neat little ritual for my brothers and me so we would know who we celebrated with each year. I soon realized this was signing who was at a holiday meal and this would help my mom remember who we celebrated what holiday with. She wanted equal time with her kids and extended family. She wanted there to be a record. And she referred to it often as she fought for her holiday turn.

Now as a mother of four adult children, my perspective is much different. This is due to the amazing example of how my mother-in-law, Cheryl (the 1st) treats this issue with such wisdom, grace, and understanding. She loves it when we can make it to her home for Thanksgiving, but there is no tablecloth to sign. In fact, if you can come, great, come on over and visit; if not, enjoy where you are.

Our big kids live in three different places and I’ve chosen not to keep track. 

The tablecloth reminds me that there are some years when our schedules work together and we can all be together and some holidays it just doesn’t work out that way. Either is completely fine, I’m not keeping track and I never will. Let’s celebrate when we can and not sign a tablecloth.

That tablecloth came in clutch when my sweet momma lived with Alzheimer’s disease and couldn’t remember who came to visit when; she could refer to the green and red plaid tablecloth.

I inherited this tablecloth when my dad passed away last year. It is so sweet to look back and remember not who was where and when, but the fact that is it full of names and memories of those who ate around it. As I look over the names, I can’t help but giggle and laugh and see just how much my perspective has changed.

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Cheryl Brackemyre
Hey local mommas! I grew up in Centerville, but I now live in Wilmington with my husband Tony. Together we have 6 kids, Joe, and his wife Allison, Austin, and his wife Hannah, Sydney and her husband Hayden, Andrew and his wife Lauren and our littles, Max and Eli. Did I mention we are a little nuts starting over with this parenting thing when we are 45+? We are officially adding new titles to our names in 2022- Tiki and Jeep (our version of Grandma and Grandpa). My husband and I are both ministers, and we get to work together in a local church. We were both married before and brought our families together in 2010. After a few years of marriage we felt God's leading for us to adopt. We added Max to our family in 2014 and Eli joined us in 2017, our quiver is officially full! Blending our family has been an adventure! Add some ex-spouses and two birth mommas and we have ourselves a crazy crew! Coffee is my love language. The beach is my happy place and I long to have my toes in the sand. I love being part of the team at Dayton Mom Collective.


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