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As a woman who has lived through many passages and learned through my larger than life experiences (positive and negative), I’ve discovered how to take a big empowering bite out of life.

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Thanksgiving With Moxie + My Tablescape

I am not a wallflower. No getting around it— I like moxie. I go for the unusual, unafraid of repercussions. It’s interesting because it seems like the older I get, the more moxie I acquire. Thank goodness! I appreciate and admire the moxie in others, too. Moxie means a lot of things. I’ve seen it defined as the quality of being energetic and having spunk. But I especially like this definition: an attractive combination of vitality and glamour. To me, it’s having a mind that can envision a style or event that no one in a million years would imagine. I am fascinated with those who have all types of moxie.

Are you a holiday host with moxie? If you’re spending time with grands, I hope you will enlighten them on the joys of gratitude.

Thanksgiving Tablescape

The Meaning of Thanksgiving

Before I tell my story I want to give thanks for the holiday of Thanksgiving. I am grateful and thankful to the 102 Pilgrims who sacrificed their lives to establish a new way of life in what was to become our beloved United States of America. The First Thanksgiving was known to have been a 3-day celebration with 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims. The celebration was a harvest feast to be thankful for all that was grown that year. This tradition would later become the national holiday known as Thanksgiving, a day to give thanks for our blessings.

If you will not be sharing this time with loved ones, my heart goes out to you. If you are feeling lonely, know that you are not alone (it is an epidemic!). Reading this will give you some ideas to ease your loneliness.

Thanksgiving Is Almost Here

Soon, families and friends will gather around their dining room table to cut the turkey and hopefully take a moment to give thanks for all their blessings, both large and small. 

I am already feeling the excitement in the air of sharing laughter and joy with those I love. I am trying to dream up a way to celebrate Thanksgiving with moxie, although I must tell you that I’ll probably never be able to, nor want to, outdo my daughter’s Thanksgiving celebration.

Where My Thanksgiving Story Begins

Most years, we flew out of Chicago the week before Thanksgiving in order to get settled in Scottsdale for our yearly Thanksgiving festive dinner with my darling daughter, Jenny, our son-in-law, Bruce, and our three grands, Skylar, Michael, and Jack.

Looking back on my life as a young mother, my goal was to set an example for my daughters to follow. I tried to teach my daughters how to make a house a home and how vital the feminine touch is. They are both ‘hostesses with the mostest,’ always opening their doors with open arms. I taught by example more often than with words. ‘Visual examples over verbal instructions’ is my motto.

I am always excited to spend time at Jenny’s home. Each time I walk through her front door, I feel as though I have never left. Truth be known, I wish I never had to leave because love, kindness, laughter, and goodness pour out of the four walls of Jenny’s home. Even the dogs give kisses to Shelly, America, and me.

The story of how to celebrate Thanksgiving with moxie took place a few years ago.

Jenny’s Thanksgiving Moxie

My daughter Jenny is a fantastic artist. She was on the “Oprah Show”! She is a loving mother and a terrific wife. However, she is neither a cook nor a housekeeper and has told me laughingly that the next home they live in will not have a kitchen! So why was this particular Thanksgiving dinner so beautiful, delicious, and meaningful? 

The zebra tablecloths and her guests.

Allow me to set the early morning scene on the day of Thanksgiving. To begin, nothing was done! The table was unset, the grocery shopping was not completed, but there was a plan in place… and a disagreement.

The plan

My son-in-law, Bruce, would do the grocery shopping and the cooking. We call him Mrs. Doubtfire! He will not let Jenny grocery shop because she spends too much money. He will not let her cook because she burns everything. But, he will let her decorate the house for Thanksgiving because she will make it a home you will never want to leave. Everyone at her table will be happy to be a part of Jenny’s Thanksgiving dinner because it will have her Moxie flair.

My ultimate concierge and I arrived from out of town the evening before. Party decorations were everywhere! There was zero organization. As her mother, I was not shocked, but you probably would have been. I knew Jenny and knew everything would be perfect 24 hours later. After all, she is her mother’s daughter.

The following morning, everyone went into double-time mode: Bruce, Jenny, the children, Shelly, and yours indeed. Even their dogs and our pooch were engulfed in the tumult, and everything seemed to be going well.

The Disagreement

Jenny wanted to buy shower curtains to use as dining room tablecloths!

Bruce said, “No, Jenny. We are spending enough.”

Jenny pleaded, “These shower curtains are special.”

“Shower curtains for tablecloths?” I thought to myself with a smile.

I pulled her aside and asked her what they looked like.

“They are cloth, and the pattern is like the stripes on a zebra,” Jenny told me.

“Zebra stripes?” I repeated.

“Yes,” she answered.

That’s an artist for you,” I thought to myself… and smiled. Who in the world would ever come up with the idea of using zebra-striped shower curtains for a tablecloth. Only Jenny.

I became her partner in crime… according to Bruce.

“Let’s go look,” I said with a twinkle in my eye, loving her idea. Without a word, she knew I would buy them for her. So off to Target, we drove. The linens were at the back of the store and the shower curtains she wanted were on the bottom shelf. 

Sitting  together on the floor we laughed, and I said in awe, “The shower curtains will make stunning tablecloths!” They were stark white with jet-black stripes, and I looked at this daughter of mine and said, “I love them! And I want to buy them for you as a Thanksgiving present. You sure know how to celebrate Thanksgiving with Moxie.”

A Thanksgiving to Remember

The day was beautiful and sunny, and everything went smoothly. Mrs. Doubtfire cooked. Jenny and I set the dining room table. My grandchildren ran around. Dogs lounged. My ultimate concierge watched football. It was a perfect setting on a perfect day to give thanks.

Then darkness set in, and guests began to arrive. This is when Jenny’s table came alive. It was breathtaking! The shower curtains stood out against colorful, red patterned plates, red candles ran down the center of the table, and bright red flowers in small clear glass vases were in front of each of the eighteen place settings. The aroma of Mrs. Doubtfire’s cooking enveloped their home. Love, the fragrance of the candles, and delicious food aroma were in the air.

The crowd was as unexpected as the zebra tablecloths, which made for an exciting and engaging evening.

A Thanksgiving with a zebra striped tablecloth

The people around the table showed the diversity of America. There were Hispanics, African-Americans, Caucasians, Jews, Christians,  and zebra-designed tablecloths at Jenny’s and Bruce’s Thanksgiving Dinner! The evening was filled with wonderful conversation, which included the story of Jenny’s tablecloths. Some of the guests commented the tablecloths were the hit of the night!

However, in my mind, my daughter, Jenny, was the hit. She had the clarity of vision to know exactly how she wanted to present her table to her guests. She was wise in her selection of friends. She is my Jenny, who knows how to celebrate Thanksgiving with Moxie.

MY ULTIMATE CONCIERGE, AMERICA AND I WISH YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES A VERY HAPPY AND DELICIOUS THANKSGIVING. 

Have a marvelous turkey day, and count your blessings, as I will certainly count mine. There are many different ways to celebrate Thanksgiving with Moxie… I’d love to hear how you celebrate yours!

 

November 22, 2023

Entertainment

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