These Are a Few of Our Favorite Things (About Thanksgiving)

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When I was a child, my favorite holiday was Christmas–the gifts, the sweets, and the twinkly lights were as seductive as a nap for a mom with a newborn.  During high school and college, Halloween was the highlight of my year. I mean, what teenager doesn’t revel in a little sanctioned mischief?  But now, as an adult, I can’t deny my profound love for Thanksgiving.  If you ask me, it gets a bad wrap and is almost entirely neglected as a holiday.  Retail stores skim over it before Halloween has even passed, launching straight into Christmas with products, decorations, and even the music they pipe throughout. And how many people do you know that put a tree up in the middle of November? It’s really quite a shame in my book, considering the historic nature of the holiday. But if you’re still not convinced it’s worth slowing down and giving proper credit to, here are a few of my favorite things about it that might make you come around…..

First off, may I remind you that with the latter part of November comes cooler weather, and we are finally able to pull out those chunky sweaters and tall boots. That cozy feeling against your skin and the smell of leather from your boots is enough to make any girl swoon, right? So, if nothing else, you can view Thanksgiving as a chance to debut your Fall wardrobe. And if you don’t have your Thanksgiving uniform ready yet, it’s time to get cracking!  Think leggings, tall boots, and a waterfall sweater for a winning combination of comfort and style.

I don’t think I’m the only one who can use a good excuse to be reminded of how blessed I am. This, in and of itself, has become something I look forward to every year and one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving. It’s so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind that is our lives and forget to stop and remember what is truly important. Last year I came across “Turkey on the Table”—a book and activity that the whole family can participate in. As instructed, the kids and I took turns writing down things we were thankful for on the feathers that we were given and then we placed them on the turkey to make its tail. 2016-11-14-15-15-24

It came with extra feathers so that we could continue to add to our turkey this year and now it’s full of so many helpful reminders that we can see and recall on a daily basis. But not only is it a great reminder of all we have to be thankful for, but a precious decoration! And to top it off, every time you purchase a Turkey on the Table set, part of the proceeds go to feed 10 people in need. If you don’t have one for your family yet, you can buy one here!

Another Thanksgiving favorite of mine is sweet potato casserole. If you know me at all, you know I can make a mean one myself and have been known to eat it for days by itself long after the turkey reserves have been depleted.  It’s a vegetable. It’s a dessert. It’s perfection.  And I’ll never understand why it only emerges once a year, but I sure am thankful it does! Here’s the recipe my mom’s best friend gave her and that I am completely devoted to:

[yumprint-recipe id=’1′]I’m also a big fan 0f getting the most bang for my buck and Thanksgiving decorations are no exception. I love that Thanksgiving is laid back enough to allow me to keep (most of) my same decorations that I’ve had up since the first official day of Fall and still look like I’ve got my act together. If you’ve got pumpkins, a hay bale, and a potted mum or two, you are golden! Here are a few of my neighbors who nailed it this year….

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If your kids are anything like mine, they can’t wait for Thanksgiving to see their cousins. With so much of our family scattered all over the country, it’s one of only a few holidays a year that we get to visit with them in person.  Seeing them crowded around the kids table at the Thanksgiving meal gives me sweet flashbacks to when I was their age and the memories I made with my own cousins. And for this reason, Thanksgiving is a highly-anticipated holiday in our house.  The grownups get to catch up over a glass of Malbec or a tumbler of bourbon and the kids play a game of tag football in the front yard.  Sometimes it’s the simple things and this is certainly one of the best.  
november-gray-1And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention everyone’s favorite part of Thanksgiving—the leftovers.  I’ve already covered how I feel about sweet potato casserole, but I’d venture to say the turkey takes the cake for most people. That day, I can take it or leave it, but oh the things you can do with the leftovers! We’re talking turkey sandwiches, turkey pot pie, and my all-time favorite, turkey and sausage gumbo! I’m a Cajun girl at heart and it just doesn’t feel like Thanksgiving weekend without a bowl of turkey and andouille gumbo. If you don’t have a good recipe yourself, and since everyone’s preference on gumbo style varies pretty drastically, a great resource is http://www.realcajuncooking.com/.

So, if you’ve already checked out of November and have tunnel vision for Christmas, I beg you to reconsider. Thanksgiving deserves some credit for being a pretty all-around awesome holiday for the reasons I mentioned above and so many more.  My advice for this Thanksgiving is to pull on your boots, whip up some sweet potato casserole, head on over to Aunt Debra’s for some good old-fashioned fun, count your blessings, and enjoy the turkey.