Our Thanksgiving Tablecloth

So, I have a funny story for you.

If your holidays are messy, you aren’t alone.

We have this great family tradition we started a few years ago, which is The Thanksgiving Tablecloth. I love this tradition because it’s extremely simple, and you don’t have to be creative or crafty in order to do this.

The Thanksgiving Tablecloth Tradition

I bought a white tablecloth, and every year we use a different colored Sharpie, and we each write on the tablecloth something that we are thankful for from that year.

Thanksgiving tableclothThanksgiving Tablecloth

This tradition is simple yet it’s meaningful. It works for us.

Every year we really eat on the tablecloth and every year stuff gets spilled on it. No worries, every year I wash the tablecloth in a gentle cycle in the washing machine, and it’s never been a problem.

Until this year. This year we used purple Sharpie, and for whatever reason it bled all over.

(Yes, I know I could use fabric markers. I haven’t. I had Sharpies around and I’m a simple soul. Lesson learned.)

So here’s what happened in 2015:

Thanksgiving tablecloth

Bekah, who is 19, showed me what happened and said, “Well, Mom, it’s probably accurate for this last year.”

I replied, “What, that our family is bleeding all over the place?”

We had a good laugh about it, but it does seem somehow indicative of our situations over the last year.

We’ve had an especially rough go of it this last year. Some years are like that.

Maybe you’ve had a really rough time of it lately, too. Maybe your family situation is messy, or there’s a lot more going on underneath the surface that you are afraid people are going to find out about.

Christmas: The Messiest of Holidays

My dear friend, as you head into the next season, let’s think about the first Christmas. It’s almost audacious to consider how our culture attempts to create Pinterest-perfect holidays compared to the first Christmas. Jesus came to earth in a dirty, smelly barn! Surrounded by, well…animal crap.

I mean no disrespect here, but all the times you think your family situation has totally gone to sh*t, you can think about the first Christmas. You are getting closer to celebrating the first holiday in it’s reality, not further away from it.

Why do you think Jesus came to earth as He did? He makes no mistakes. God meets you in the middle of your messes.


If your family holidays are messy, keep in mind the first Christmas was messy, too.

Let’s not misunderstand the message here. Do not glorify the disasters. Just the opposite, actually. Instead, stand in awe of a God who is able to work in the middle of the worst of life’s messes, and more than than, create in this moment a sacred, holy space.

Even in this.

I challenge you this holiday season to find where God is at work. Find the holy. He is here, working.

In the discarded, disastrous places, He is most masterfully at work.

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