I love this time of year. November is a magical month for many reasons. The beauty of the changing landscape with leaves blowing into jump-worthy piles. The cool, crisp air giving a lightness to the days and apricot-gold sunsets bringing on ever-longer nights. This is the time of sweet anticipation. The time we plan and prepare for holiday gatherings of family and friends.
Each November, my mother and I take a day and visit our favorite shops’ holiday open houses to get into the spirit. For us, holiday planning is not complete without visiting our places at the Farm, Utica Square and The Vineyard on Memorial as well as a few spots in Bartlesville and Pawhuska. There the flavor and style of our Thanksgiving begins to take form.
On Thanksgiving Day, we celebrate by bringing the family together for an afternoon feast gathering at a beautifully decorated table adorned with china, crystal and silver collected by family members over the past 100 years. A bouquet of fall-colored leaves with red and yellow roses sits in the middle of table lighted by the dimmed Austrian chandelier. The prayer is given by my brother and then we dig in. It doesn’t take long to finish the food which took days to prepare and polite dinner conversation makes way to the retelling of childhood stories, wild claims and laughs.
The tradition of the day continues with a walk in the woods by the entire family, young and old. We stroll to the river with half of us crossing the footbridge and the other half refusing by sitting on the banks with the dogs who accompany us. We make our way back to the house and rush like crazy to make it to the Lights On ceremonies at Utica Square. There we jump right from celebrating Thanksgiving to Christmas by singing carols and welcoming Santa. We love it. It’s our tradition and the anticipation of this special time makes it even sweeter.
This issue of Tulsa Lifestyle is dedicated to the preparation of your home and yourself for the holidays. We wish you joy and peace as you plan for and connect with friends and family this time of year. Enjoy.
Louann Buhlinger, Tulsa Lifestyle Contributing Writer