By Deborah Dunham for Blisstree.com
Say you had 25 people coming over for Thanksgiving. And say that entailed days of preparation, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, crystal and china washing, tablecloth ironing, spare table and chairs borrowing and all-around stress that could easily turn into a highly detectable level of bitchiness at any moment. For many of us, this is how Thanksgiving goes. A fun, family-filled feast can quickly turn from visions of togetherness and yummy eats to a disastrous, stress-filled day that leaves you exhausted -- not to mention bloated. For me, this tends to happen every holiday, and this is why I want to boycott Thanksgiving this year.
Last year, Angelina Jolie made headlines for skipping Thanksgiving too, but for very different reasons. She claimed that she hated this holiday because she didn't want to celebrate what white settlers did to native Americans and the domination of one culture over another. Interesting point, that admittedly, I've never given much thought. Still, my reasons for wanting to skip the turkey and all the trimmings are more about celebrating what I'm really thankful for in a way that doesn't jeopardize my sanity.
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As anyone who has hosted a Thanksgiving dinner knows (and as we noted earlier this week, that's something that still tends to fall to women while the guys watch football): It's a lot of work. I want to watch football. OK, not really, but I do want a day off, and cooking and cleaning and entertaining family is not what I consider a day off.
Call me selfish, but here's what I'd much rather do:
Sleep in. Cooking a 20-plus pound turkey usually requires me to get up earlier than a normal work day, make the stuffing, allow it to cool, prep the bird and get it in the oven long before anyone else in the house has risen. This year, I want to wake up to no alarms and no hurry. Give thanks to my nice, warm bed.
Go for a long run. This is my idea of a perfect morning. Hit the local trails and run for a couple of hours. Give thanks for my strong legs and strong heart and Mother Nature.
Go to yoga. My local studio is kind enough to offer a class for "thanks and giving" on Thursday. Give thanks for my soul and my body.
Go on a picnic. I am lucky enough to live at the beach, so my idea of a perfect Thanksgiving meal would be to pack some turkey sandwiches and head to the ocean with my husband and boys for a few hours. Give thanks for my family.
Take a nap, lounge around the house. Isn't this what days off are all about? Give thanks for "doing nothing" time.
End the day feeling healthy -- not sick and bloated. Like so many of us, when I finish a Thanksgiving meal, I feel gross. Stuffed, tired, nauseous and like my pants are going to burst. It makes me feel bad for the rest of the day and into the next day too. This year, I vow not to feel that way. Give thanks for feeling light and healthy.
Relax in bed with a movie and my journal. Give thanks for the simple things in life.
Now, granted, when I ran this whole boycotting Thanksgiving idea by my family, they were not in favor. WHAT? No Thanksgiving? But I look forward to that every year. It's the one day I can eat a lot of meat (I am a vegetarian who doesn't normally cook meat). I want stuffing! I'm going to (insert friend's name) house for a real dinner. There's something wrong with you. This is just anti-American. Let's just say a small retaliation occurred.
So, what will I do? To be honest, I'm not sure now. The idea of spending a stress-free day with some great workouts is so appealing. Then again, so is a happy household. Either way, I have vowed to be truly thankful.