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.