I can’t believe Thanksgiving is next week. I feel like the fall just started. That I just started seeing the leaves change colors. That I just started wearing a coat. That I just started drinking my pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks. And yet, regardless of me thinking it’s too soon for Thanksgiving to be approaching, the fact of the matter is it is. And with that said, I’ve compiled a short list of do’s and don’ts for my second favorite holiday.
Do Try and Eat Moderately Healthy and Workout before Thanksgiving
For the past few years, I’ve been trying to go into Thanksgiving in the negative. What I mean by that, is I try even harder to eat right and do some extra workouts leading up to Thanksgiving, so that I can drop a few pounds. I already know the kind of damage I’m going to do at the dining room table on the big day, so I try dropping a little weight in anticipation for the weight I plan to gain at Grandma’s. By the time I finish all the leftovers, and step on the scale, I’m usually back where I originally started. This may sound smart to some and weird to others, but the winter weight gain is real in these streets. I’ve fallen victim to it in the past, and don’t want to do it again.
With all that said, I encourage everyone reading this to try it. Particularly, if you’re like me and not wanting to go up a pants size or two in order to accommodate a fuller figure. Besides, a week worth of kale juices and salads will make you appreciate some REAL greens with ham hocks next Thursday.
Don’t Attempt to Cook if It’s NOT Your Ministry
Everyone is not a cook. It’s that simple. Some folks just aren’t skilled in the kitchen with an oven or a stove. Even if a person knows his way around a fork and spoon, doesn’t mean he knows how to prepare a meal. And honestly, that’s okay.
What’s not okay, are people who don’t regularly cook trying to make Thanksgiving dishes. There are 364 other days out of the year where this segment of the population can try experimenting with pots and pans. (Well 363, because trying to cook and serve it to people on Christmas is unacceptable too.) Speaking on behalf of family members and loved ones around the country, we don’t want to be served anyone’s piss pore rendition of stuffing, sweet potato pie, or macaroni and cheese. So if you’re not a cook, opt to supply the drinks, ice, paper plates, or napkins.
Do Make an Effort to Spend Time with Loved Ones
I am a big family man. There is nothing I won’t do for the family members I hold near and dear to my heart. As is the case, I enjoy spending the major holidays with them whenever I can. I love the food my grandma and mom prepare, the games me and my cousins play, and the sports conversations my uncle and I share. I honestly want everyone to experience those good times this Thanksgiving. And I understand that not everyone has the best relationships with family members, or are unable to be with family over the holidays. But if you have friends you consider to be like family, well try and spend some time with them. Friends are often loved ones too.
Don’t Take a Patti Pie to a Family Function
Let me preface this by saying how much I adore Patti LaBelle. I’m a big fan of her music, and consider her to be like the long lost great aunt I’ve never met. However, I’ve also had her sweet potato pie. For the money you pay for the pie, it’s not bad at all. The crust is actually pretty good. But the filling is where I take slight issue. It’s a bit on the spicy side. I don’t mean cayenne and jalapeño pepper spicy. I mean it’s a little too heavy on the nutmeg for me.
By now, you may be asking yourself what is it I’m trying to say; so, let me tell you. Patti’s sweet potato pie is moderately acceptable if you want to take it to an office party or potluck. Most employees don’t go into those functions expecting grandma’s best. But, DO NOT attempt to take this pie to your family’s Thanksgiving dinner. More than likely your grandma will be slightly offended and your aunt and uncles will give you a side eye. Especially, if your grandma makes sweet potato pies from scratch.
Do Actually Take a Moment to Yourself to Recall Why You’re Thankful
Often times in this day and age, people forget the premise of Thanksgiving. As much as I love to eat on the holiday, Thanksgiving is more than turkey and some sides. It’s about recalling all that you have in life to be thankful for. So in the midst of your Thanksgiving Day, meditate on all the reasons you have to be thankful. And look, you may not be where you want to be in life, or going through a rough season, but you always have something to be grateful for. Believe me.
Don’t Spend all of Your Thanksgiving Day Plotting to get Black Friday Sales
Over the past few years, the commercialism of Black Friday has been eclipsing the Thanksgiving holiday. People can’t even enjoy their good meals without stores shoving early bird sales and “biggest deals of the season” ads down their throats. I remember a time when stores used to be closed on Thanksgiving. When folks weren’t ready to knock each other over the head for a TV, Xbox, or MacBook. Honestly, it’s all just a bit ridiculous. I’m encouraging everyone reading this not to go crazy for Black Friday this year. Just relax and enjoy the holiday weekend (or at least the Thursday).