What are Your Plans This Thanksgiving?

What are Your Plans This Thanksgiving?

Be Thankful This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has always been the holiday when everyone in my family gets together, watches football all day and night, takes a nap, tells jokes, catches up, and stuffs themselves silly.

This year, though, it feels different — or maybe it’s just me. There’s so many unsettling things happening in the world.

So, this year, I’m literally going to put the “thanks” into Thanksgiving.

Making the Holidays Extra Special

I’ve come up with a few things I’m going to do to that will hopefully make this Thanksgiving very, very special — and you should do the same if you feel you could be more thankful this holiday season.

  1. I’m going to write a note to friends I haven’t seen or talked to in a while. I want to tell them why they’re so important to me, and what they’ve done through the years to make my life better.
  2. For people coming to dinner, I’m making a treat bag for them to leave with. In addition to the treat, there’ll be a note in thanking them for being a part of my life.
  3. On each person’s plate will be what I hope is a conversation starter. Some of the topics I’m thinking of are: “Who’s the one person, living or dead, you want to have a conversation with and why?” and, “What’s been the best Thanksgiving you’ve ever had and why?”
  4. I’m going to give each person a piece of paper and a pen. Sometime during the evening, I want them to write their Thanksgiving thoughts and feelings, what they’re thankful for, and what’s changed for them this year. After Thanksgiving, I’m going take their writings, together with a picture of the person from Thanksgiving evening, then I’ll duplicate all of the notes and pictures, and create a bound journal for each person with this year’s date on the front.
  5. Either the day before Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving Day, or both (before guests arrive), I’m going to volunteer at a soup kitchen. If you’re interested in volunteering, check out this website that matches you with a nonprofit, Volunteer Match.
  6. I have a couple of neighbors who are generally alone on Thanksgiving, so I’ll insist they come to Thanksgiving dinner. They’ve declined in the past, I think because they felt it would be an intrusion. This year I’m going to insist they come over and be part of my family because no one should be alone on a holiday.
  7. And, of course, what would Thanksgiving be without decorations for the table and around the house? Enter the grandkids! I’ll be getting the art projects they made at school and daycare that I’ll use for a table centerpiece, interspersed with fall flowers.
  8. Lastly, I’m asking each person to bring something to donate to a family in need. After Thanksgiving we can bring the donations in together, as a family.

Then there are the simpler things I’ll do for Thanksgiving, things like:

  1. Taking a moment to be still. I need to stop to enjoy the sights and sounds around me, to remember how wondrous and magical the world truly is.
  2. Putting on my headphones and heading out for a walk. There’s nothing like some physical exercise to make me reenergized — not to mention it’ll help when I proceed to stuff myself.
  3. Going to the cemetery and sitting with my parents for a while. There I’ll be reminiscing, thinking about all the Thanksgivings we shared, and the wonderful memories we created.

Being Grateful

Since it is Thanksgiving after all, it’s important to give thanks and be grateful for all the things we have and the people we have in our lives. Try to take a moment this Thanksgiving, either private or as a family, and give thanks for all the things in your life you’re grateful for.

Here are some of the things I’m grateful for this year:

  1. I’m grateful to be living in the United States — even with all of our financial and political problems, it is still the greatest country in the world.
  2. I’m grateful to all of the men and women who serve not only in the military, but also as police and firefighters, who go into harm’s way every day.
  3. I’m grateful that this past year has been one that’s been healthy for me.
  4. I’m grateful for today and the memories that will be created.
  5. I’m grateful for everything I’ve gone through in my life — good and bad — because it’s those things that have made me the person I am today.

And here are some things I’m especially thankful for:

  1. I’m thankful to whoever wants to entertain the little ones while I’m in the kitchen finishing getting everything ready for dinner.
  2. I’m thankful to every single person who is going to bring a dish for dinner so I don’t have to slave in the kitchen all day.
  3. I’m super thankful to every person who will joyfully (at least joyfully after several glasses of wine!) get up after dinner and help me do the dishes.
  4. I’m thankful that with the enormous turkey I’m going to buy, which will be enough to feed a small army, I’m not going to have to cook for several days.
  5. And lastly, I’m thankful and grateful for my family — they are my pillars, or as I read somewhere, “there’s no crazy quite like my family’s brand of crazy — and that’s the way I like it!”

As Henry David Thoreau said, “I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual… O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.”

I hope everyone has a magnificent Thanksgiving!