It’s almost time to get sick of turkey!
When I was a kid Thanksgiving was insane. My mom’s big crazy Irish family somehow fit into one house and we all ran around eating the yummies, playing, and seeing how much we could annoy the adults.
The older I get the more I enjoy Thanksgiving.
It’s a quieter holiday. I don’t have to worry about rushing around for gifts, cookie supplies, or candy. Instead, I can just get in the kitchen, make some awesome dishes and share a meal with the people who matter most to me.
We do that often enough, but there’s something about pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce that add an extra zing.
Everyone is so busy nowadays it’s hard enough just meeting up for lunch, so I don’t mind driving miles and miles to see in-laws, or my enormous extended family that still files into one house like it’s a clown car made to fit the entire country.
Let the endless celebrating begin!
My mom’s side of the family always celebrates Thanksgiving the weekend before. That frees up the real day for traveling to see my in-laws, but a few years back I realized something…
I love the people, I love the feel, but the food …
I come from a long line of terrible cooks. They have some okay dishes, but for the most part, my extended family is full of can casserole makers and box mix people. It’s all fine and good for one night, but when you regularly cook with whole grains and fresh raw ingredients something is missing.
My in laws are great people, and they know how to cook, but Thanksgiving is a sugar fest on their end. Honey glazed this, candied that. If you’re not looking to get diabetes in one meal, finding something more balanced is a struggle.
I’m thankful for them all and enjoy whatever they have to offer, but our differing tastes and my husband and my focus on better health, has led us to do our own little Thanksgiving dinner with the kids each year.
This gives me my day in the kitchen where I can lighten the sugars and up the veggie count. It also gives me the ability to enjoy the other dinners better. I don’t mind a little extra junk if I know I have or will be putting together a meal completely from scratch with healthier foods that nourish the kids.
The gigantic family events where people come in from all over are great to catch up, drink, and let the children run like a wild pack of wolves, but then our own meal holds all the little things we specifically pay attention to. It balances everything to the point that Thanksgiving isn’t just a day, it’s a week long fest of remembering what’s really important and still caring for our bodies.
So however you celebrate remember to make a little something for yourself. Something you love to share.
Don’t let the pressures of the holidays overwhelm you, instead balance things out with what makes you truly thankful.