Ours started out in a decidedly non-Thanksgiving fashion. Don’t misunderstand, we revere turkey and mashed potatoes … we salivate at gravy and brussels sprouts with a mustard and bacon topping (the best!) but this year that’s not how things started.

                Our son and daughter-in-law came for dinner on Wednesday – that allowed them to have a longer visit with our daughter-in-law’s family on Thursday and meet their new baby nephew who lives in Connecticut. Cool … we’ll just fire up the bird a little earlier … but wait! Our son asked if I would make some green chile for dinner. Surprising, but … since anybody who has lived in New Mexico knows that every day is a chile day, I said yes.

                What I didn’t suspect was that the green chile I was making would set a very peaceful tone for the entire weekend. It wasn’t really the fact that I was making a specific dish … it was the sense of familiarity and comfort that the dish brought with it. You see, for several years when I was a teenager, my dad made green chile every Friday night during the fall and winter months. He said the vitamin C in the chile helped keep away colds, etc … and he was probably right as we didn’t get very sick during the chile cooking period. It was a comforting ritual … Friday night cutting up round steak, browning it with onions and spices, then pouring in chopped tomatoes, and lots of green chile, and whatever other ingredient Dad thought might work well. Then wait … for a couple of hours … smelling the wonderful concoction that was bubbling very slightly on the stove.

                Wednesday afternoon, there was a sense of peace that surrounded me as I chopped onions (seriously tear-inducing onions, too) and browned meat, spices, etc … and then poured in water and started it all at a fast simmer. Somehow the comfort in the food and the memories made its way into the preparation time, as well as our visiting when the kids came over. It was very welcome – and more than a little unexpected.

                So, here’s my hope for you during this holy-day season: try to find something to do that touches a ‘comfortable’ part of your memories. Let yourself remember and enjoy the memories and the activity at the same time.

                I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of thinking of the holy-day season as stressful and too busy and … stressful and … stressful. I’m going to try to take some time sharing thoughts and memories with the folks who mean the most to me. With any luck … along with the thoughts and memories will come a healthy dose of peace.

                The Prince of Peace is on the way! May peace touch your heart during this holy-day season.

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