The holiday season is here, which has always been my favorite time of year! Time spent with family and friends, exchanging gifts, cooking food together, baking the day away and sharing in traditions that we do every year. I’ve spent a few Thanksgivings away from my family, and this year they’ll be on the east coast while we stay on the west coast, so it’ll be our first Thanksgiving in a new place, a long way away from what’s been our home for a long time. We don’t have any specific plans this year since Dylan won’t be getting home until the day before Thanksgiving, and might have to leave again soon after, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that even if things aren’t what I’m used to them being, it still makes such a big difference to celebrate in some way and do something special to commemorate the day!
1. Mark the occasion by starting the day off with something special
Buy a record player and your favorite holiday music on vinyl (my favorite is Frank Sinatra & Bing Crosby Christmas music), light a cozy pine scented candle with a wick that crackles if you don’t have a fireplace (or use your essential oil diffuser), put on your holiday music, turn on the TV to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, hang some fairy lights, dance around the kitchen to music while making a big stack of your favorite blueberry pancakes and take polaroids to remember this year’s Thanksgiving!
2. Give to something or someone else
Sign up for a Thanksgiving day walk/run that helps a local charity or cause. Nothing feels better than getting endorphins flowing and knowing that what you’re doing is helping someone else. You can also volunteer at a soup kitchen, or a place that might need help giving out food for the holidays. Buy a few turkeys or different foods that different shelters need and drop it all off in the morning. Reach out to any friends or people that you think might be spending the holiday alone and invite them over for your mini feast. This time of year can feel lonely for so many, and you never now who might be spending it alone. Maybe this year they won’t have to!
3. Dress up for yourself
Put on your favorite dress (that’s also comfy, hello food coma) or your favorite new fall sweater and jeans/pants. Style your hair and put on some makeup if that makes you feel good. If you dress and get ready like you have somewhere to be, it will make the moment feel more special, and I always feel so good after getting ready and putting something I love on!
4. Make your own Thanksgiving feast
With Dylan traveling and being gone a lot of the time, I used to not do much for dinner, or just make something simple and easy because it didn’t feel as fun just cooking for myself. But I’ve realized over the years, that if I go and buy the ingredients, put on my favorite music, light a candle or diffuse essential oils, and spend the night cooking up a beautiful dinner for myself or a friend, it actually brings me a lot of joy. So, whether you’re spending the holiday with yourself, or maybe your significant other, it’s worth making it special and cooking your own Thanksgiving feast for yourself or with them! Find food recipes and desserts that look delicious (my favorite food blog for holiday food and treats is A Cozy Kitchen and she did a Thanksgiving recipe roundup you can find here) and spend the day cooking and baking away. Set the mood and table with your favorite plates, flowers, candles, music and flatware. A cozy feast for one or two. You’ll feel like you accomplished something and marked the occasion, which is a memory you’ll always have!
5. Start buying your holiday decor and decorating
It seems that every year people are decorating earlier and earlier for the holidays. Why not go out and buy your holiday decor and start decorating! Put on some fairy lights, hang stockings, decorate your tree, bake some cookies, and watch your favorite holiday film.
So what are your Thanksgiving plans this year? Share with me in the comments below!