All, My Thoughts

Guest Post: Thanksgiving Potatoes

Happy Saturday, Reader Friends!!

Today we have a guest to the blog. Please welcome Dawn Ford!

Thanksgiving Potatoes

By the time I turned forty-three I had become the matriarch in my immediate family. Both my husband’s and my parents had passed away, and we had no grandparents left. Having spent years going to one place or the other for Thanksgiving and Christmas, it was now up to me to lead up the holiday festivities.

I had never thrown a party except for very informal ones. My skills in the kitchen keep fire alarm companies in business. However, I was determined to fill the shoes of those who had gone before me. Needless to say, though, I was in a little over my head.

As luck would have it, my husband’s a chef. A very tired and stressed business owner chef. One who gets tired of having to cook all the time. Food is not my thing, but it is his. So, hubby vowed to take care of the big things like ham, turkey, and dressing. I would handle everything else.

The first Thanksgiving I went all out on the decorations. I bought a new tablecloth. I found a dozen charger plates (the plates that go under plates and make said plates look good) and I bought these pretty plastic throw-away decorative plates. I had cloth napkins and napkin holders. I even made sure to have nice salt and pepper shakers. I was so proud of myself.

Our table looked great. But because we never had a big crowd at our house, we ended up short on chairs. And since I was in charge of the side dishes, we ended up not having enough potatoes. Funny. It’s surprising how testy people can be when they don’t get enough starch in their Thanksgiving diet.

The next year hubby took over the potatoes. I had all of the decorations from the last year, so the table looked great again. We had extra chairs brought in by family members, so that was covered. However, when I went to make the green bean casserole, I couldn’t find the French fried onions. I bought them on sale a couple of weeks prior, but now they were gone. Hubby didn’t tell me he used them. So, we had onionless green bean casserole and enough potatoes to feed a third world country.

Sigh. I wondered if we’d ever get this down. Would it ever be perfect?

This past year I was talking to my husband’s aunt, asking her how she has pulled off the holidays so smoothly for so many years. She laughed. According to her it’s never been perfect. Something always happened to put a wrinkle in the whole thing. I told her I never noticed her sweating anything, that she handled it with such grace. She told me it’s not about getting everything perfect, but about making memories, good or bad, that count.

Oh, if I’d only realized that before. I always felt like a failure. This is the fifth year since we took over our family’s holiday celebrations, and it still isn’t perfect. However, if you go by the measuring stick of memories I haven’t done so bad. I don’t think hubby or I will ever live down the not enough/too many potatoes. In fact, it’s a running joke now to see how many we’ll end up with.

But now, instead of focusing on perfection, I focus on being thankful for having my family around, potatoes or not, and rejoicing in the perfectly imperfect memories that will last a lifetime.

2 Corinthians 9:11 “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God” (NIV).

*Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.



Dawn is part of the Wholly Loved Ministry team, a group of wives, moms, and mothers who help women discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. They do this by partnering with churches across the nation to facilitate events geared to women. Their two signature events are a Christmas tea titled, Not a Pinterest Christmas, and the Wholly Loved Conference. Visit them online at Wholly Loved to find out more or book them for your next church event.

Dawn has been married to her high school sweetheart for twenty-eight years, and they have three incredible sons. Dawn is a young adult fiction author, creating authentic stories that cut through the lies we hide behind to break through to our inner truths. Her journey of self-discovery happened only after she relinquished control of her marriage and family to God. Ten years ago Dawn began to build a vision for other woman to realize their God-given gifts, and embrace the purpose God has for them in life. 

2 thoughts on “Guest Post: Thanksgiving Potatoes”

  1. Thoroughly enjoyed Dawn’s blog and I can totally relate. This was a great reminder to me as I am preparing to have out of town family in to join us for Thanksgiving dinner. I have always attempted and expected perfection from myself for such gatherings and must remind myself again this year that perfection can never be reached by mere ‘man’. Thank you so much for sharing!


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