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The older you get, the more Thanksgiving holidays you experience – and the more you may start to question the meaning of the holiday and what it means to be truly “thankful.” Furthermore, the way people celebrate Thanksgiving has been changing as well, with families living farther apart and sometimes gathering from all across the country for Thanksgiving dinner. With all of the hectic planning that comes with this celebration, however, you can still step back and find meaning and health in Thanksgiving with these ten tips:

  1. Work together.

Make Thanksgiving preparations a family affair. Involve your kids and grandkids so that you can have the whole family participate, spending time together while easing the cooking and cleaning load off of yourself.

  1. Consider takeout.

Although the “traditional” view of Thanksgiving involves spending hours in the kitchen preparing the perfect feast from scratch, you may not want to do that, instead opting to spend time with your family. To make that happen, look towards sources of pre-cooked meals, which you can purchase in a grocery store or have delivered to your home.

  1. Make it healthy.

Using all-natural ingredients and avoiding excessive fat or sugar is not just tastier; it also helps improve everyone’s mood and keep your family active and ready to celebrate together, rather than lying around lethargically after the dinner is over.

  1. Safety first.

Make sure to cook your turkey to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit, and wash your hands after handling raw meat, in order to avoid food-borne illnesses such as salmonella bacteria. Furthermore, avoid food poisoning by storing your food properly in airtight containers after it is cooked.

  1. Leave your schedule open.

Make sure not to overplan your Thanksgiving holiday; leave your schedule free to just relax and enjoy the company of your family and friends.

  1. Stay home on Black Friday.

Avoid the crowds of this early shopping holiday, which only lead to increased stress and negative feelings and have nothing to do with the true meaning of Thanksgiving.

  1. Take a walk.

Enjoy the beautiful fall foliage and brisk air while you can – on the cusp of winter, Thanksgiving is usually a great time to be outdoors.

  1. Be thankful.

Embrace the original meaning of the holiday, taking time to reflect upon the things, people, and experiences that you are thankful for.

  1. Pay it forward.

Do something nice for someone else – you will find that it helps you feel happier and brightens the other person’s day.

  1. Travel.

Mix it up and take a vacation for Thanksgiving, having your dinner on a sunny beach or simply postponing a “traditional” dinner until after your return.


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