Monday, November 20, 2017

Keeping Thanksgiving Simple At Home

A Simple Thanksgiving At Home

An Autumn Pillow on

Hey Friends!  I'm back from my computer break spent visiting with my family. I've been in West Virginia for the last 8 days and am happy to be back home. Mr.thisandthat spoiled me by giving me a ride there and then picked me up a week later to bring me back home. I was able to sit in "luxury" and be chauffeured which I enjoyed to the utmost! Now that I'm back home, I'm thinking about how we will celebrate Thanksgiving and I thought I'd share. 

For many years, the Mr. and I would travel for every holiday to visit family in either West Virginia, Atlanta or even Chicago.  It was wonderful to see everyone and spend the holidays together, but it was also extremely tiring and even stressful. We would drive many hours, eat 2-3 holiday meals and arrive back home facing loads of laundry and a quick return to work. I would always stress over the possibility of bad weather and there were several trips where we did encounter snow. Two such trips stick in my memory. During one trip we awoke on our departure day to snow and ice. We decided to try to drive back, thinking the roads would improve as we went, and started out on I-77 only to have to turn around 30 minutes into travel and head back to my mother's house because it was so slick. On another trip, we were one hour away from Asheville when an unexpected ice storm hit and we had to pull over and get a hotel room for the night. The memory of inching along on the ice trying to get to an exit still fills me with trepidation. The fear of white knuckle rides ruined the joy of these trips and contributed to our decision several years ago to enjoy the holidays at home and leave family visits for other times during the year. While I always miss being physically with my family during the holidays, the decision to enjoy holidays at home was the right decision for us.

The thought occurs to me that there are others who may be staying home for the holidays apart from extended family and you might enjoy some hints on making the holidays merry and bright. So in my Monday post next week I'll be sharing some of those hints specific to Christmas with you. Since Thanksgiving is this week, however, I'll share a few hints now for that holiday.

Hints For A Simple Thanksgiving 
*By all means create a large meal if you wish but don't feel bad if you prefer to either eat out or order Thanksgiving takout. My husband and I have done both and have enjoyed not having cleanup to do at home.

*Thanksgiving meals don't have to be huge and they don't have to be turkey! While the tv shows and movies always show the huge family gathered around the table with a gigantic turkey in the middle, it's OK to branch out and try different foods. One memorable Thanksgiving 15 years ago we were moving into our present house and actually ate our Thanksgiving meal at Subway! While this wouldn't be my usual choice for the holiday, we certainly survived and we surely remember that Thanksgiving!!

*If you are serving a small amount of people such as 1-3 folks, consider investing in a smaller crockpot. I recently bought a small Crock Pot Slow Cooker and it is perfect for cooking for two! I've used it for two chicken breasts, soup and a small roast and it is fabulous! It doesn't take up lots of counter space and the removable crock cleans easily by either hand washing or in the dishwasher. 

*Above all, remember the focus of the day is being thankful. I like to focus on what I have rather than what I don't have. It's easy to get depressed if you are missing family or feeling left out without a large gathering. Making a list, either mentally or on paper, helps me to focus on the many, many blessings in my life. 


How do you plan to spend Thanksgiving? How are you counting your blessings this year? I am so grateful to have each of you sharing time with me on my blog! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving week!

Until Next Time,


Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

I understand how tiring it is trying to go to multiple family members. Staying home for a quiet Thanksgiving is a great idea. Glad you had time to be with family first. Happy Thanksgiving!

Karen said...

These are great tips Debbie! I am staying home, so Thanksgiving for me will be about focusing on my many blessings, and those include my family that I'll be away from. I especially enjoy hearing reports from my oldest son who is a fantastic cook and does the whole meal himself. I've been to his house for Thanksgiving and have those wonderful memories. He sends pictures and I feel a part of it even though I'm over 3 hours away! This year I am choosing to stay home and keep things small and simple. And to be grateful! As Christmas approaches, I do look forward to the music and decorating, just not the commercial aspect that seems to start earlier every year. If we could just focus on what Christmas is honestly about....I have this thought in the back of my mind that one year very soon, maybe next year?, I'll rent a cabin for a long Christmas weekend and we can just be together instead of the gifts, just to enjoy family time and a fun dinner with all our favorite things. I love your fall decorations and your tips on keeping Thanksgiving simple if that is a choice we make. It's my choice this year too! Glad you had time with your family in West Virginia, and no rushing back to work which has to be wonderful! Have a happy, quiet, peaceful and relaxing Thanksgiving Debbie! Welcome back!

Debbie Styles Life said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you, too, Carol!!

Debbie Styles Life said...

Have a restful, quiet and wonderful Thanksgiving, Karen! I love your idea about renting a cabin for your family to enjoy a quiet Christmas!

Sharon said...

Welcome back, Debbie! I enjoyed seeing your Thanksgiving home decor through your pictures. It seems that our Thanksgiving plans can change from year to year, but your tips are great for any plans. Happy Thanksgiving!

Jackie See said...

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! ~Dazee

Nikki said...

We will be spending our Thanksgiving with just the two of us. We do this often. Once in a while I might find a cheap flight to visit my mama but not usually. I purchased a ham from a co-workers child who was selling for a school fund raiser. So I only have to cook some veges.
I like you get tired of being the ones traveling. I love my family and I miss them terribly, but I'm just tired.
I look forward to a calm long weekend. Happy Thanksgiving!
:) gwingal

Debbie Styles Life said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Dazee! Thanks for stopping by.

Debbie Styles Life said...

Thanks for stopping by, Nikki. It's good to know that others enjoy spending the holidays at home like we do! I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you get some much needed rest.

Marie said...

Hello Shelley,
This is Marie @venicebeachqtpie. I participated in Katherine’s “Give Thanks” tour along with you talented bloggers. Thank you for sharing your stories of Thanksgivings past, and the anxieties of traveling in wintry conditions that came along with it. I love and appreciate your Thanksgiving tips and how to simplify. Sometimes, simple is really better. I’m learning. I hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving!
Love, Marie