Last Thanksgiving was a complete and utter disaster for me! I didn’t burn the turkey, drop a pie, or drink too much.  The food was actually great!  The holiday fell apart shortly after dinner when a huge family argument erupted.  When I say huge family argument, I mean tears, ugly words, and yelling for hours.  The kind of argument that led to next to no communication with my parents for over six months.  We dug up things that had troubled us for years and somehow decided that this was the time to air our grievances.  Truthfully, I can’t even tell you exactly how it got started, but I know it ended badly.

Prior to last year though, Thanksgiving was my absolute favorite holiday.

The food, the friends, the sweets… I loved it all! A few months ago, I started to feel the sense of dread building knowing that November was coming.  For a while, I wasn’t sure how to face it.  I had so many mixed emotions.  But, with the holiday approaching, I’ve decided that I’m not going to let last year’s family debacle ruin me on Thanksgiving.  2020 has been nothing short of crazy in our house (and I’m sure yours). We’ve dealt with the pandemic, school closings, packing up and moving cross-country, new home, new jobs, and new schools.  So, I really feel like we need this Thanksgiving!  We need a good, quiet, cozy holiday to rest and refresh.

With that said, there are a few things we are doing at our house to reinvent Thanksgiving and bring back the joy of the season.

Just us!

It will be just us this Thanksgiving – my husband, me, our kids, and the dog.  This year has taught us that we can have a whole lot of fun with just the four of us.  We quarantined for months together and discovered new interests, fun games to play, and found new movies we love.  We plan to enjoy all of these things together on Thanksgiving!

All our favorites!

We are meal planning now and it will be all OUR Thanksgiving favorites.  No need to make special dishes because someone said we must and “how could we have dinner without it” …we’re making just what we want.  We will start the day with our favorite holiday breakfast and end the day with chocolate pecan pie!  Drinks will consist of what we like and not the special wine that only one family member really enjoys.

Make a day of it!

We plan to do things we enjoy all day!  We will most likely pull out our ukuleles (our new quarantine hobby), watch Marvel movies, do our favorite puzzle, and maybe have a family dance off while the turkey is cooking.  No need to schedule special events or make sure everyone is entertained.  We are just enjoying the day, wherever it takes us!

Taking inventory!

We are slowing down and making a list of the things we are most thankful for – small and big.  We’ve had some heartbreaks this year, some struggles for sure, but we’ve had some real victories as well.  We are taking time to focus on the good and reset our perspective.

I will celebrate Thanksgiving this year, even though the sting of last year’s disaster is still raw. In the end, no matter what we eat or how we spend the day, I know we will share lots of laughs and big hugs.  We all struggled through last year’s holiday and, well, 2020 in general… and we are ready for some good, old-fashioned holiday cheer.  We are making the most of the holiday season and pressing reset on what Thanksgiving means to our family.

So, this year whatever you enjoy – big holiday gatherings, small and cozy get togethers – make it great!  Find ways to relax, slow down, and enjoy the blessings around you.  Take a quick inventory of the good things in your life, even small things.  Do what brings you peace! Here’s to reinventing Thanksgiving and bringing back the true joy of the season!