This November, I'm remembering a mostly forgotten American tradition that lies behind Thanksgiving's cheery feasting and mutual congratulation.
As we age, there's a tendency to let go of some of the traditions that have always been part of our holidays. They often seem like a lot more work than we're willing to do, and since many of us now spend our holidays at our children's homes, allowing them to start their own traditions, why bother? Looking back at past holidays, we often wonder how we were able to do it all.
I think many of us are grateful Thanksgiving comes just once a year. After consuming a weeks allotment of turducken, green bean casserole and pumpkin pie in one sitting, we are then ready for winter hibernation or just a long nap in front of the TV!
Holidays, family and divorce come with great complexity. This year, I have finally developed the tools to navigate through it. Given that I grew up with divorced parents, I have learned a lot through that experience and am able to apply my own tactics.
Cooking is one of my favorite pastimes, but cooking a big meal without a plan can take time away from family and friends and add stress to the season. Most of us would rather watch the Bears play the Lions from the couch, not from the kitchen. With that in mind, here are a few tips for removing stress from Thanksgiving and adding more time to focus on family.
Thanksgiving is a family holiday that Americans of all religions can celebrate but it lacks the one thing that couples need. Alone time. With so much expected of the reunion, I find couples generally don't make a game plan on how to sneak some time in for themselves.
If you don't think you have anything to give, give yourself another look in the mirror and remind yourself that gifted people like you have plenty to give and to give thanks for.
Gratitude is something we could stand to practice not only every day, but in everyday moments. Thanksgiving seems like a good day to start.
Thanksgiving and the holidays: It's peak travel time, peak chow time, and, if you're like me and wanting to cling for a taste from home, peak traveling with chow time.
If you can start seeing your place in the emotional workings of your family, then inch by inch you'll gain the space to start making thoughtful choices that are about you rather than just reacting. And who knows, you might even look forward to next year.
As an adult, I am now able to understand and process a lot of which wasn't explained to me as a child. My mother makes me smile. She's the strongest woman I know.
I love the idea of Thanksgiving -- a day to remind us to give thanks, and I wish it were celebrated right across the world. Our lives would be transformed if we got into the habit of giving thanks, not just on one day of the year, but every day.
Most of all, we are thankful for those immigrants -- legal and otherwise -- who at the behest of agribusinesses toiled long hours in the fields, laboring for low wages, and doing work that most Americans would not.
My father is the type of guy that demanded your attention. He could tell you to f*ck off and inspire you within those same seconds. He held the key to wisdom and business secrets.
My daughter's entire leg and foot is covered in poop, there's poop up her back, my arm is covered in poop and my middle finger has a giant poop-nugget on it, and I realize that if I turn it around and point it at myself, that pretty much sums up my current situation.
As Thanksgiving approaches and we prepare to make a family feast, our tenth in the lovely dining room at Lyman House -- the home built long ago for one of my predecessors -- I think of how it is we landed in this place and of the advice Seth, my husband, gave me once, long ago, which has helped make hard spots easier.