Thursday, November 24, 2011

Reggie's Thanksgiving Tradition

Every year, at Thanksgiving, while sitting at the celebratory meal with family and friends, I follow a tradition where I suggest that each person at the table shares what it is he or she is most thankful for.  I know that some people find this hokey, and it does at times make people uncomfortable.  But I press on, and I encourage everyone to participate, because I find that what people have to say they are thankful for is fascinating, in many cases enlightening, and oftentimes food for thought and later reflection.  It is also a window into the souls and lives of those who are willing to do so, as most people are, I find.  Regardless of how tough a year someone may have had, there is usually something they can be genuinely thankful for.

A sheaf of wheat decorating our dining room
for Thanksgiving at Darlington House

Pausing during the hurly-burly of the meal to listen to and reflect upon what those of us who are sitting there are thankful for makes the gathering more memorable, in my view, and hearkens back to the very reason we find ourselves at the table in the first place: to give thanks.

The colors and patterns that one sets one's
Thanksgiving table with can be subdued . . .

Sometimes the answers given are short and sweet, and other times can be surprisingly emotional and sad, if not wrenching.  Whether sweet or sad, however, I believe the process of listening to what others say they are thankful for, and then volunteering what oneself is also thankful for, makes the observance of Thanksgiving a more enriching experience for many of us.

. . . or rich and exhuberant—whatever
strikes one's fancy or mood

This year, as I do most years, I expect to say that I am most thankful for my health, for my sanity, and for the deeply rewarding and ever-evolving marriage I have with my wonderful spouse, Boy Fenwick.  There are other things that I am thankful for, too, but these are the ones that sit at the top of my list this Thanksgiving Day.

Tell me, Dear Reader, what are you thankful for?

Photographs by Boy Fenwick


  1. Couldn't you stand back a bit, Boy, with the camera? I'm DYING to have a peek! (Because what little you show us is sooooooo beautiful!)

  2. Thankful when I awake and each time the Celt walks in the door!

    The sheaf of wheat is beautiful - it brings to mind how altars once were decorated with large flat molded bread in the form of sheaves at the Harvest Festival. Perhaps it still happens.

    A Happy Thanksgiving to you both!

  3. Happy Thankgiving to you Reggie! And thank you for your gentlemanly spirit. I wonder, would Boy Fenwick mind if I printed off some of his photos and used them to decorate my new office? An eternal reminder of the worth of gracious.

  4. A lovely tradition!! Your table choices are both beautiful!

  5. I am grateful that I can get Reggie Darling via email. And I'm not kidding, your blog is such a treat to read. Yesterday I emailed my precious and gay son and said I am getting him Gucci loafers for Christmas! Happy Thanksgiving

  6. Reggie, please tell us more about the beautiful quail dishes and the goblets. Love them!

  7. When it's at Linderhof, we do the same. I love those colorful plates in your second photo.

  8. Thankful to have discovered such a wonderful, intelligent blog! And, of course, also thankful for family, friends, and every single day I struggle through.

    Bless you!

  9. Dear Reggie, lovely images. A belated Thanksgiving to you and Boy Fenwick.

    Thankful always for my family, friends, My improving health each and every day, the world of blogging and most amazing people who have entered my life because of it.

    Love and Hugs

    Art by Karena

  10. Just one of the small things I am thankful for: having access to such amazing knowledge and information through such a diverse and fascinating group of bloggers. My life is enriched in some way, each and every day by the blogs that I read... especially yours, Reggie!

  11. That is a wonderful tradition!
    I am so grateful for all the same things you are. Health & sanity, and of course my compost making- vegetable-growing husband.

    That china in the second photo is fabulous! More details?

    Ah yes, Reggie via e mail, sensational!

  12. My seven-year-old boy woke me yesterday morning to suggest we do just this. So we did.

  13. My 15-year old daughter and I say three things we are grateful for, large or small, every morning while we drive to school. No repeats allowed. Because she is 15, sometimes it is the most civil conversation we have all day. We both love it. (And I am grateful for your blog today.)

  14. For a warm, quiet, safe place to lay my head at night and the joy of the morning light at the window in the morning.

  15. Each and every day I give thanks for so many sundried items, people, places and things. Most of all, I celebrate life full of gratitude and in earnest hopes to leave behind the world a more thankful place.
    We owe much thanks to our fore fathers on Thanksgiving day and beyond. When we think of life in terms of heirlooms or legacies or empires we can all strive for greatness and gratitude.
    Of course, I am thankful for my family, my lovely husband and our faithful and endearing dog.

  16. After a particularly uncomfortable holiday away, I am ever so thankful for my comfortable home and its sweet smell.

  17. I am very thankful to have Reggie as my brother. I am also thankful for my jobs, health, hounds, house, friends, city, country, world.


  18. I'm thankful that I got to spend Thanksgiving with my grandparents and parents. I'm even more thankful that on Saturday before I left, Darling Gran recognized me. The joy on her face when my family walked up to her was priceless.

  19. I am thankful for after years of health issues that I was finally diagnosed with the insidious addison's disease. I'm on the road to a complete recovery with the help of medication lots of physical therapy. I could not be happier.


  20. I love this tradition and have on occasion "made" my family and friends particpate and am always so glad when they do open up. This year I was thankful that that my husband and son were both home at the same time to celebrate, the first time we were all together since 2007!


Please do comment! I welcome and encourage them, and enjoy the dialogue.

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