Once we’re past Halloween, the downhill roll of the holidays begins with Thanksgiving next and then Christmas, and before you know it, it’s New Year’s Eve and Day! So many traditions, special menus, and fun activities wrapped up with each of those days. Turkey Day is the next holiday up, so let’s celebrate Thanksgiving by reminiscing a little and considering some new Happy Thanksgiving things.
Happy Thanksgiving Memories
Oh, those Thanksgiving memories! I can still smell the onion and celery sauteing in butter bright and early that morning. The next step would be Mom mixing the bread stuffing with all the herbs and seasonings plus adding the sauteed veggies. And, since this was back in the days when we weren’t worried about stuffing the bird, Mom would complete that task by trussing it with white string.
Besides the gorgeous golden turkey, the Thanksgiving table would include a massive bowl of mashed potatoes, lots of turkey pan gravy, and of course, whole cranberries out of the can. We’d have a big green salad, boiled asparagus, and a fluffy fruit salad. There would be warmed-up rolls from that red and white package, the green bean casserole, and sweet potatoes (or yams) with lots of butter and brown sugar. But, the dessert would be served later in the day, and you’d have a choice of pumpkin, apple, or maybe mincemeat pie with tall peaks of whipped cream!
Football would be on all day, and if the weather was decent, we’d play outside (if we could still move!)
7 Things to Try for a Happy Thanksgiving
- Enjoy your dinner from/in a restaurant. Cracker Barrel will prepare the Heat n’ Serve Holiday Family Meal To-Go, a complete Thanksgiving meal that serves 10 people and can be prepared in two hours or less. Or the Homestyle Turkey n’ Dressing Meal, which can be enjoyed by guests in-store on Thanksgiving Day.
- Order your dinner from your favorite grocery store. Central Market in Poulsbo has a dinner for 6-8 complete with leftovers! H.E.B. in Texas has meals for 4 or 8 that can be picked up at the Deli Counter. Check larger grocery stores near you (the ones with a deli or kitchen) to see if you can still grab a prepared meal.
- Live on the wild side and go out for Italian or Chinese or Mexican! Sometimes it’s fun and even mentally healthy to break with tradition and start your own. You never know, you might decide that pizza is a meal you can thankfully enjoy with family, friends, or just yourself! We have family members who have fish and the trimmings for Thanksgiving. It’s a whatever sounds good to you and yours kind of a day.
- Serve at a soup kitchen and help bring a Thanksgiving meal to people who wouldn’t have had a chance to enjoy one this year. Check out your local homeless shelter or Salvation Army or your church to see where serving opportunities might be available. Or, donate to an organization supporting needy families. H.E.B. has a challenge going on right now. You might know of a family in your neighborhood who would love a big bowl of your favorite turkey day recipe!
- Participate in a Holiday event. Check around; there are craft fairs, turkey trots, parades, and football games. The Homestead Fair is an annual event near Waco with activities and gifts you’d find at a working homestead farm. Check Facebook Events for something to help you celebrate Thanksgiving in a new way.
- Do a holiday craft with your kids or grandkids or neighbors. Here are some fun ones: Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids. Plus, here’s a post about other fun ways to grow friendships/relationships anytime. This is also a great day to get a big start (or finish) to your Christmas shopping lists. See these two posts for more ideas and some free forms to help and for fun.
- Go see an ‘out for the holidays’ movie. Check your local theatre listings. There are usually great family titles that will inspire and get you and yours in the holiday spirit.
Not so Happy Thanksgiving Memories
A long time ago our family had an extremely challenging, close to heart-breaking Thanksgiving. The Lord brought good as He always does, but that memory is one that took a long time to get beyond. It’s one of those that needed to be viewed through trusting, thankful eyes.
At the time the Psalms (and other parts of the Word) were the Rock we held onto and still go back to when life gets bumpy. There’s just something about the hope found in Psalm 27:13-14. I love these words. In fact, they’re my Thanksgiving gift to you in case life is bumpy for you right now, or if and when it is in the future.
Yet I am confident I will see the Lord's goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. Psalm 27:13-14
Let’s Wrap this Up
By the time you read this, the turkey is probably thawing in the fridge and the pies might already be baked. Or, you might be waiting to get the salad ready Thursday morning to take over to ‘their’ house as your part of the dinner. You might be looking forward to a delicious restaurant dinner with all the fixin’s (that you don’t have to cook!) Or, you might be doing one of the other things to try from the list above. However you celebrate,
I pray that you’ll get a chance to thank those important to you for them. I pray too that you’ll know how much you’re appreciated. I’m thankful for you! And, I’m thankful you’ve read this little post. 💕
Finding a new purpose in living and joy in the day-to-day was the goal when author Kathy Rowland and her entire family (adult kids and grandkids) moved from the PNW to Texas several years ago. The focus of Quiet Hollow is to encourage ‘next chapter women’ – those who are retired, empty-nesters, or have found themselves without a spouse to jump back into life. And, she shares multiple tips, ideas, and possibilities toward that end. Kathy completed her almost 30 years as an elementary teacher and hopped into over a decade of volunteer work, side hustle-type businesses, and grandchild care before discovering her unique and fulfilling purpose for the next chapter of life. What you read on Quiet Hollow is a large part of that calling. Another part is the happy life she’s leading in Central Texas in the same neighborhood as the 3 big kids and her 5 grandkids. She and her college sweetheart husband made sure to add a pool to their new Texas home, so there are lots of noisy, splashy days in their little oasis of a backyard. Come join her on Quiet Hollow in a conversation about finding and living the life you were created to live in this later stage. The chats will be full of laughter, support, faith, and inspiration to create.