Thanksgiving1. Get Some Exercise (No, Seriously)
Thanksgiving ranks as one of the best American holidays in existence, the midpoint from the holiday rush that starts with Halloween and ends with the Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, and New Year’s celebrations. It’s also traditionally seen as a day of laying around the house watching television or chilling while dinner gets cooked.
To better enjoy the holiday, find time to be a little active. If getting up at 5 a.m. to run a 5k doesn’t sound appealing, take a walk around the block. Being a little active, especially earlier in the day, can do wonders for your appetite and comfort levels later. Plus, you get to eat more when you exercise. Everyone knows this.
Also, please keep in mind that, all evidence to the contrary, going out for Thanksgiving night retail deals (Black Thursday? Black Pre-Friday? Christmas Chaos? Whatever) does not count as exercise. For one thing, you’ll probably still dealing with the food hangover, making you less inclined to move at speed to achieve your optimal heart rate. For another thing, unless you’re actually racing everybody else to the electronics department, you’ll probably spend just as much time standing in line then you will moving. And no, doing jumping jacks while waiting won’t help, although it will probably irritate everyone else.2. Keep The Menu Options Diverse But Simple
With Thanksgiving, simplicity tends to go the farthest. If you’re hosting dinner, find out before Thursday morning if the guests have any food preferences and/or special dietary needs. If you don’t know, don’t be afraid to ask. If you’ve got vegetarian guests coming to dinner, don’t just offer turkey and ham. If you’ve got vegans on the way, see if they wouldn’t mind bringing a vegan dish everyone can try.
And keep things simple. As long as you’ve got the entrée, sides, and dessert take care of, you’ve got everything under control. It’s not necessary to cook two dozen different side dishes (unless you want to) or six variations of one food (unless you want to have baked/mashed/scalloped/fried potatoes for everyone).3. Diversionary Tactics Welcomed
You’ve got a houseful of people, the parade just ended, and you’re facing an entire afternoon of football or the first wave of holiday specials. Not sounding like an ideal way to spend the day of giving thanks? Be proactive and have some diversions on hand.
Diversions can be everything from board games to a pick-up game in the yards. Some care needs to be taken in the diversion selection, of course; anyone who’s ever played Monopoly or Uno in an enclosed space knows the pain of combining competitive contests with family and friends. If the weather permits it, outdoor diversions can include traditional offerings like football or bocce ball. Depending on the age and general mood of the guests, scavenger hunts or hide and seek might be an attractive alternative to watching the Lions and the Cowboys.
And as with any major holiday, take some time to have fun and relax.