Ready for another (and hopefully, last) pandemic Thanksgiving? It doesn’t have to be a bummer. Even if you are remaining safer at home, you can craft a day to elevate your spirit and connect you to a grateful heart.
Make a plan for how you will spend the late afternoon and evening. Some people mindlessly shop, eat, drink, watch sports or bicker on Thanksgiving. That’s understandable. A day off is a break in the routine that can put people at a loss on how to allocate their time, especially if they are spending this time with children or with family they don’t see often.
Monday, November 15
- Clean your refrigerator on “Clean Your Refrigerator Day.”
- If you are going out to eat, make reservations.
Tuesday, November 16
- Mail Thanksgiving greeting cards.
- Donate food to your local food drive.
- Watch A Garfield Thanksgiving (free on YouTube).
Wednesday, November 17
- Finalize your menu.
- Check the cupboard and fridge to see what you need.
- Complete most of your grocery shoppping. Buy some cloves, cinnamon sticks and allspice (Badia) to make mulled cider.
Thursday, November 18
Look through Pinterest for abundance affirmations, gratitude quotations or funny Thanksgiving memes to print. Post next to your bathroom mirror or on your refrigerator.
Friday, November 19
- Purchase or take out of storage any Thanksgiving decorations and candles.
- Purchase Thanksgving craft materials for kids (or adults).
- If you are visiting during Thanksgiving, purchase a gift for the hosts.
Sunday, November 21
- Watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving on PBS at 7:30 p.m.
- Plan what you will wear on Thanksgiving.
- Start defrosting a whole frozen bird in the refrigerator, if you are cooking one.
Monday, November 22
- Fill the car with gas if you are traveling. Pack your bags.
- Otherwise, do laundry and clean, vacuum and dust house.
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer airs tonight at 8 pm on CBS.
Tuesday, November 23
- Make your shopping list if you are shopping on Black Friday.
- Set aside time for self-care activities and extra rest. Maybe you would enjoy listening to a guided meditation on grattutde.
Wednesday Morning (the day before)
- Have the kids do Thanksgiving crafts.
- Last minute grocery run (go before dark). Maybe you need cranberry sauce, rolls, milk, whipped cream or a pie?
- Chop onions and celery and pre-make what you can.
- Watch Party: 1994 remake of Miracle on 34th Street.
- Enjoy a cup of herbal tea and put your feet up. Turn in early.
- Take a morning walk and be grateful for the beauty of nature.
- The Washington National Cathedral airs a Thanksgiving service online from 10 am – 11 am.
- The Macy’s Day Parade is on at 9 a.m. on NBC. Or listen to a playlist of grateful tunes.
- Call famliy members you won’t be seeing today and wish them a Happy Thanksgiving before noon.
- Make Thanksgiving dinner (or go out).
Mindfully enjoy the meal you have prepared (or that has been prepapred for you) after giving thanks.
After the meal
Keep children/adults occupied with crafts, board games, card games, puzzles, word searches, yoga, etc. Teachers Pay Teachers has printables for kids. Keep in mind that most children under 12 read independently for a half hour each day in school and also write for nearly that long. You can assign your children daily reading and writing time while carving out periods of distraction-free peace for yourself.
If you are not occupied wth friends and family, check out the self-care challenge for November. There are gratitude lists, meditations, workouts and coloring pages.
Some people love to watch football after the meal.
It’s a good time to discuss holiday plans.
Movie theaters, Mount Vernon and Great Falls park are notoriously crowded on Thanksgiving Day. That’s frustrating for parking and unsafe in a pandemic. Pick a near-to-home walking trail instead, play football outside, rake leaves, or visit departed loved ones at the cemetery.
How do you plan to spend Thanksgiving Day?