Dreading The Holidays?

If the traditional turkey feast has you wishing you could be ANYWHERE else, it may be time to FLIP THE SCRIPT!

Whether or not you are single or married, you can find imaginative ways to celebrate Thanksgiving in the true meaning of this holiday.  It simply should not be about overeating, cooking and cleaning for the host and guests!

Sometimes adding a change to your Thanksgiving tradition can bring untold rewards to your overall mental and physical health. 

Sadly, we still still have tremendous need during the holidays in our communities. 

Several years ago, when everyone in my family worked so hard to provide a spectacular Thanksgiving meal, we were too tired to enjoy and appreciate the true meaning of the holiday. 

We had a family meeting, chose my house as base, and all gather on Thanksgiving morning and begin cooking a full meal outside to not only feed our own family, but enable us to deliver food to the local domestic violence shelter in our area.  They barely scrape by, and the additional expense of providing a special meal is not feasible.  The first year, not only did they not have a special meal prepared, they were eating fish sticks. 

Sadly, there is a tremendous rise in domestic violence during the holidays. We were fortunate to be able to feed 61 women and 22 kids last year. 

An interesting tidbit that never occurred to me: Our particular shelter uses approximately 60 bars of soap per week.  That is just one aspect that I never even considered.  With each new resident’s arrival, all new supplies must be distributed, as these women and children enter the shelter with only the clothes they are wearing.  The strictest of safety measures are employed to protect those residents.

Our joint efforts have restored so much meaning to this holiday for all of us. We also include any of our friends or family that have nowhere else to go for Thanksgiving. 

What are your 3 favorite Thanksgiving traditions?

We decided to call ours THE THREE C’S,

Communication:  We love the time we spend cooking together to catch up on the day to day things that we never seem to have time for the rest of the time. Learning about the groups or people you are working with is so gratifying.

Charity:  Doing something for someone else not as fortunate as we are without an expectation of receiving something in return is sometimes difficult to imagine.  Remember, the simplest things mean the most.  We understand a lack of funds, and having to watch every penny!  Your time and good intentions do not cost anything monetarily.

Think about any special skills that you have that may be extremely difficult for others to accomplish.  You may just be able to make somebody’s day a tad bit easier.

Camaraderie:  Participation with a special group or organization creates a bond that is extremely special to our family and friends. Luckily, as extended family and friends discover what we are doing, additional resources have been made available to our group as well.  

Instead of dreading everything involved with preparation for holidays, we truly look forward to this day every year.  Do not get me wrong, we still are working to prepare everything, but it just seems to go so much better when everybody is on the exact same page and of the same mindset.

If you do not want to cook for the holiday, grab whomever is available and head to the nearest local restaurant.  If you can afford to, treat someone less fortunate than you. Many restaurants plan special meals for Thanksgiving at great prices. 

At the end of the day, remember to be GRATEFUL.  Life changes in an instant.  Make the most of your holiday and special time spent with those you love the most. 

Designate a driver, follow instructions for all outdoor turkey frying, and have a designated area with activities for children AWAY from where any outdoor cooking is occurring.

No matter how you choose to spend Thanksgiving, please remember safety first.