We are currently inside the 10-day window for Thanksgiving 2013!   You will have to forgive my excitement…Thanksgiving is my FAVORITE holiday!  Many people think I’m weird for loving Thanksgiving so much, after all, it’s not a commercially celebrated holiday, there aren’t any gifts to be given or received, and there are obligations to spend the entire day with family members that you may or may not care for.  Thanksgiving has gotten a really bad rap (Don’t believe me?  Check out some of definitions of Thanksgiving in the Urban Dictionary here).

I like the Webster’s definition MUCH better!:

Thanksgiving : the fourth Thursday in November in the U.S. or the second Monday in October in Canada celebrated as a legal holiday for people to be thankful for what they have

“For people to be Thankful for what they have.”  Maybe that’s why so many people don’t like Thanksgiving; in our materialistic society we have been programmed to always want MORE.  It’s not often that we’re asked to be thankful for what we already have….I mean, if people were thankful for what they have, why would they stand in line over-night to purchase the new iPhone, right?

This year, I plan to take full advantage of the 4-day break and especially Thanksgiving Day.  BUT enough about me – let’s get on to the good stuff!  Whether you are a Thanksgiving lover or hater, here are some ideas to help you make the most of YOUR Thanksgiving this year!:

  • Slow down and reflect on what is truly important.  Here are some Inspirational Quotes to help get you in the mood, then maybe you could share your Thanksgiving spirit by:  Creating a  Thankful Tree, a Gratitude Jar, or starting a Thanksgiving tablecloth.
  • Celebrate or create new family traditions – They don’t have to be serious or have some deep-seeded cultural significance, some of my family’s favorite traditions are watching the Macy’s Parade and sucking the canned cranberry jelly through straws (don’t ask me why, but the entire family looks forward to doing this and we all get the best laugh from it!).
  • Cook a Turkey feast!  If you are an experienced cook, get some additional inspiration here, here and here.  If you are not so experienced, check out these quick and easy recipes here, here and here.  Still not convinced it’s do-able?  Check out these retailers, so you can buy one and fake it!!  BoJangles, HoneyBaked Ham, Harris Teeter, and Lowes Foods (there are probably many more, but this was all I could find).
  • Break out the “good” dishes – If you don’t have a set of “good” dishes, pick-up some Thanksgiving placemats to dress up your everyday dishes, or just get festive disposable ones!
  • Start the day with a mimosa – Check out recipes here, here and here!
  • Drink wine with your feast!  Did you know Thanksgiving is the #1 holiday for wine sales?  I read that somewhere, but cannot find the source now…anyway, Check out some affordable wine options here and here.
  • Take an afternoon nap!
  • Watch a football game – Check the Thanksgiving NFL schedule here.
  • Start a family or neighborhood football game (what a great way to work off some of those extra calories!).  Find a Flag Football Set to purchase here or learn how to make your own here.
  • Get in the holiday Spirit – Thanksgiving night is the kickoff of the holiday season in our family.  We bring down all the holiday decorations from the attic, break out the holiday music, watch Miracle on 34th Street (the original, of course), set up the DVR to record all the old claymation movies (like Frosty and Rudolph) and we enjoy turkey sandwiches and the other leftovers from the turkey feast!

Here’s hoping you and yours find many ways to enjoy Thanksgiving for what it is!  You still have 9 days to make your plan!!