Paul and I were sitting and praying one day for our family and discussing how blessed we feel to have such amazing family, friends and neighbors. The topic came up about how we should get everyone together for dinner to just spend some time with one another. Jokingly, Paul said, “let’s make it a big dinner, kind of like Thanksgiving”. Well, being the crazy people that we are, we ran with that idea. So, this past Sunday, we held our first ever “Why the Heck Not, Thanksgiving in July”.
We compiled the guest list and sent out our invitations. We of course got comments like, “What? In July?” and, “Weird idea, but we love it.” I started on the menu planning and here is what we ended up serving:
- Secret Family Recipe Turkey (I’ll share this recipe sometime soon)
- Mashed potatoes (homemade by Kaela)
- Gravy from turkey drippings
- Baharat spiced carrots (Pinterest found recipe)
- Dill buttered corn
- Italian baked zucchini boats (Pinterest found recipe)
- Homemade bread
- Fresh fruit salad
- Pickles and Olives
- Cranberry Sauce
For dessert we had Pumpkin Cheesecake bars made by our daughter Amy and since we had 4 people coming whose birthdays were within the week, we needed a birthday cake. My mom made a homemade vanilla bean cake with Italian custard filling, buttercream icing and topped it with mini peanut butter cups.
We definitely were going to have to abandon our diets for the day!
After all the R.S.V.P.’s came back, we ended up with 24 people confirmed. Wow! Where were we going to put everyone? Since it is July, and this is Florida, the patio would be too hot. Yep, time to move some furniture. The day before, we ended up moving out most of the living room furniture and set up various folding and patio tables. After a lot of shuffling, we finally made everything fit like a charm.
We were set and ready to go for our out of the ordinary celebration. At this point, I just needed sleep since I had to put the 28 1/2 pound turkey in the oven at 3:30 am in order to have it ready in time. (As I said earlier, we are crazy.) Paul and I both slept horribly. Kind of like the day before you are ready to go on vacation and you keep thinking you forgot to pack something. Finally 3:30 rolled around, I put the turkey in and went back to bed for a few hours. In the morning when I got up, Paul took me out to the front yard and to my amazement, my neighbors, Kenny and Courtney fully flocked our yard with Thanksgiving decorations galore.
Thanksgiving in July was official!
I got so emotional when Paul told me he planned it with them and last night while I was sleeping they snuck in our yard and set the whole thing up. Oh, how blessed we are to have neighbors so sweet to do something like this for us.
Later in the day, everyone started rolling in and the house was quickly filled with hugs and laughter. We had the movie Elf playing in the background, the smell of roasted turkey was in the air, and everyone was having so much fun. You could have sworn it was November! The only thing that could have been better is if our families who live far away could have been there with us.
So here was the overall purpose behind Thanksgiving in July:
- Don’t be too busy to not make it a point to spend precious time with people that mean a lot to you.
- Don’t wait for an official holiday to show people how grateful you are for them in your life. It is true that life is short.
- Thankfulness is not a feeling, it is a sense of being.
- Remove yourself from time to time, and just serve others out of joy.