Today, I’m thankful for all my wonderful, super intelligent, cute-as-can-be nieces and nephews: Jules, Constance, Bruce, Joshua, Ellie, Imogene, Jude, Remi, and soon to be Shannon. My brothers and sisters have some really great kids and I love them so much. This story and all the others are for all y’all!
Once upon a time, three nephews and six nieces, hurried over to Grammie and Grandpa’s house to celebrate Thanksgiving. They gathered into the warm home with many trampings, stampings, and hollerings. Boots, sweaters, and scarves piled around the front door while aunts and uncles, and mommies and daddies carried in many dishes of sweet potatoes, green beans, cranberries, and pumpkin pie, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin pie!
Soon everyone settled in with mugs of coffee to wait for the turkey to finish cooking. Toys filled the living room, laughter and sarcasm rang through the rafters, and a roaring fire warmed several backsides.
Suddenly, a loud voice broke through the holiday cheer: “I don’t like these toys.”
Then someone else said: “I’m tired of waiting to eat.”
Two little complaints opened the flood gates.
“Go away, I don’t want you to play with me.”
“I want to watch a movie. I hate playing with trains.”
“Why do the girls have to be here?”
“Why won’t the boys go away?”
“I don’t want turkey for dinner.”
“I don’t want pumpkin pie.”
Complaining, complaining, complaining. Nothing was right. Everything was wrong. No one was getting what they wanted.
Grammie gasped and stormed into the living room, her eyes blazing.
“Stop this right now!”
Nine cousins cowered. Grammie frowned hands on hips. “It’s Thanksgiving Day! Today we’re supposed to be thankful, not complaining.”
“What is being thankful?” Remi asked tears in her eyes.
“Everyone up on the couch.” Grammie sat down in the middle and the cousins climbed up around her.
All the mommies and daddies, and aunties and uncles gathered around the edges of the room smiling to each other. They remembered when Grammie had frowned at them as children.
“Did you know complaining is wrong?” Grammie asked.
“Wrong?” Bruce crossed his arms. “Why is it wrong?”
“Because it is saying in your heart that God is not good and the Bible says He is good. Instead of complaining, we’re supposed to be thankful. Let’s try it.”
Silence. Not one cousin had one reason to be thankful.
“I’ll start.” Grammie smiled. “I’m thankful for all of you and all of you being here today. Not everyone gets to be with their family on Thanksgiving, but I do. I’m very thankful.”
“I’m thankful for you Grammie!” Jules hopped up and gave Grammie a hug.
Now, everyone wanted to join in in being thankful.
“I’m thankful for horses, and books, and my baby Shannon,” Constance said.
“I’m thankful for movies and tractors.” Bruce uncrossed his arms and smiled.
Joshua jumped off the couch and grabbed up a dinosaur. “I’m thankful for dragons and swords!”
Ellie looked from Jules to the dinosaur and back. “I love Jules!” she shouted joining in the Grammie and Jules’ hug.
“Remi! Mommy! Daddy!” Imogene chanted excited by all her cousins yelling.
“I think Imogene is thankful for her family,” Aunt Abby said.
Jude growled and held up a fireman’s axe.
“And I think Jude is thankful for Vikings,” said Uncle Jason.
Everyone looked expectantly at Remi and Shannon. The two little girls stared back at their large, loud family. They grinned and gurgled.
“That means they’re thankful for pumpkin pie.” Aunt Emily translated.
“Now do you understand being thankful?” Grammie asked. “Instead of seeing what you don’t have, you need to see what you do have. You need to see all the ways God has been good to you. They far out-weigh all the things you don’t like.”
“Thanksgiving Day.” Bruce spread his arms wide. “The day we’re thankful for all God has given us!”
“‘And God bless us, every one!’” Grammie said.
“Silly Grammie.” Jules kissed her cheek. “That’s Christmas.”
“I’m thankful for Christmas,” Aunt Liz and Aunt Abby and Uncle Matt said in unison.
Several family members groaned.