The holiday season is right around the corner; less than 24 hours until Thanksgiving. One of my favorite holidays. A perfect time to give thanks for my loveable family, sweet boyfriend, amazing friends, good health and so much more.
For me, Thanksgiving has always been a holiday of giving thanks and spending time with family and friends. Good food is a bonus. Good Lions football is like extra icing on the cake. It makes me happy to relax and share laughs with the special people in my life.
We’ll spend Thanksgiving at my mom’s house this year. Justin’s cousin and her family are spending Thanksgiving with us too. We love a large gathering at my family holidays – I will forever appreciate my parents hosting multiple holidays that brought both sides of the family together.
My family has some Thanksgiving traditions. Do you? Even being in my mid-30s, I still have to turn on the Thanksgiving parade in the morning to watch the floats and entertainment. Every year on the table, you’ll always find delicious turkey (usually from Peacock’s Poultry Farm), two different stuffing dishes (sausage and meatless with cranberries for me; thanks, Mom!), sweet potatoes, “rainbow Jello” (7-layer Jello dish that includes the colors/flavors of the rainbow) and apple pie. Other dishes are a delicious addition. The Lions football game is typically on the television (I have faith this year, boys).
After dinner, we play games or watch a “family” movie (Toy Story 3, Narnia and Santa Claus have been shown in past years). It’s also the day that Christmas music is played on the radio (the past few years WNIC has started playing the holiday music in early November but that doesn’t seem right). And it’s the kickoff to my embrace of the holiday spirit.
I will admit I’m surprised to see several stores opening late on Thanksgiving or at midnight. Is that really necessary? Yes my mom, sisters and I shop on Friday, although this has become more tradition than looking for a deal. But I can’t imagine any of us wanting to shop on Thanksgiving. I’m disappointed in our society that we’ve become so focused on shopping and material items that we sacrifice holiday time with family. I think people also forget about those who work at the retail stores so others can shop and indulge. One woman told me last year that she doesn’t mind working because she’s so thankful to have a job and get paid. I think all of us who have a job are thankful, especially in today’s economy. But we should be able to take a holiday off, right?
So we’ll be shopping on Friday but not at midnight, nor even 7am. Some think we’re crazy to even head to the mall on such a day but it is several hours of laughter, bonding and sometimes a really good purchase (or two!).
If you’re not interested in shopping on Friday, there are plenty of other activities to keep you busy. Cranbrook Institute of Science always has a family-friendly array of activities occurring throughout the holiday weekend. Many of the local metroparks and state parks offer free admission on Thursday and Friday so what better way to work off your turkey dinner splurge than a walk through nature? There are several movies in the theater, including “Breaking Dawn” from the Twilight series, Happy Feet 3 and the Muppets Movie (so thrilled to see Miss Piggy back on the screen!).
Whatever your holiday plans I hope you take a moment to count your blessings and be grateful for what we have. All too often in our fast-paced, hurry up, work hard environment we forget to recognize and appreciate the people who make our lives happy. Don’t let that happen to you. Be thankful.