How To Be Thankful

Gobble gobble

Gobble, gobble

Reviewing my last post I noticed I seemed a bit cranky and whiny, two traits that I don’t like when I taught in my classroom. “No Whining! No Groaning!” I would say to the kidlings, and if they continued I would threaten double homework.  After a while in my class some of the smarter ones would cheer and say “Yay” when I assigned homework.  Sure I knew they were being false in their praise, but I took it anyway. “Fake it till you make it” was a saying I use to say to my students about showing appreciation and acting like you enjoy something. Eventually your praise whether false or true will give you a better mindset in completing any tasks.

I am happy to say that my Thanksgiving was one of the best I have even had. I was in a positive mood the whole time and was happy to contribute the green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole and store bought pies of apple and pumpkin. I had apprehensions about going to my in-laws, not because I don’t get along with them, but because of the political views that I have seen on facebook from my father-in-law and brother-in-law about the past election. (We’re the blue, they are the red) Fortunately no political fighting happened. My mother in law made a fantastic turkey, my father in law brought two Marines to come have Thanksgiving with us, we even held hands and said a little grace.

The conversation was mostly about school and the kids and I got to talk to my sister-in-law a little bit more than usual. She is the stepmom of my nephew and I think she is doing a great job raising a teenager and toddler at the same time. Even my brother-in-law who has been in poor health this last year was in a good mood. I was happy to be a part of the family. I was thankful. My only gripe? Because of the schedule of the Marines we had to have the dinner around 1 so they could get back to the base by 6. I am use to having the meal closer to 4 or 5. I know, I know, picky, picky.

You see, my husband and I aren’t that far away but traffic in So. Cal., and jobs, and school keep us from seeing his parents often. So Thanksgiving is a special day for me.  As I have posted before, it is probably my favorite holiday. You spend time with family, you eat, you are thankful. It is so simple and not a lot of pressure except for the one who is cooking (again THANKS Grandma!) So here are some instructions/ guidelines/ protocol? on how I think you can have a happy Thanksgiving.

1) Spend time with people you care about. Don’t feel pressured to spend time with people you don’t like. This may seem hard but if you absolutely dread going to Auntie Whosits house, don’t go. Plan a meal at home with your friends close by and that will be your excuse for not going. If you are invited to a friend’s dinner go, but don’t go if you’d rather be alone. Spending time with yourself is one way to spend time with people you care about  – YOU.

2) Eat good food. I am not going to say turkey because their are vegetarians and vegans and I think if you can make homemade healthy meals without the turkey go right ahead. One time growing up my mom made a whole chicken instead of turkey because we love her Garlic Chicken recipe! This may take some planning but that’s what makes this meal special. Don’t eat fast food or microwave. Cook something yourself, even if all you know is spaghetti and tomato sauce.

3. Don’t shop on Thanksgiving! I am very adamant about this one. I don’t know when the Black Friday frenzy began but I do remember when Marathon Man and I were young and before we had kids we would set our alarm and wake up at 5 to get to the sales early. Nowadays that’s too late. Shops are now opening at midnight and on Thanksgiving Day. It’s wrong and I feel bad for the people who have to work that day. I worked retail while in college knowing it was a part-time job to make extra money, but there are people working these jobs to support families. And you won’t allow them to enjoy one measly day of eating a good meal together with their family? BOO! Don’t shop at those stores on Thursday. If you must, go on Friday, but I have given up that too. Too much hype for cruddy items that aren’t worth a sale anyway.

Good food and good fun. My nephew is playing football with the big boys.

Good food and good fun. My nephew is playing football with the big boys.

4. Do a family activity. I will say turn off the electronics but a family activity can be a computer game if everyone can participate. That means play Mario Carts or Dance Revolution because grandma thinks it’s cute, not Call of Duty. You get extra bonus points however if you play a game without batteries like Monopoly or my favorite Catch Phrase.  Extra extra bonus points* for a physical activity game like football in the alley behind grandma’s house. Yes, that’s what our boys did with the Marines and it was fun.

So as usual I’m a little late talking about Thanksgiving when it will be December tomorrow. Well, I’m learning that I will get it done when I can, my SAHM lifestyle is just as busy as teaching. But I’m glad you’re still reading. I will say that I’ve finally completed the craft closet and I am currently writing this blog inside the “magic closet” right now. Will this make me post more and improve my writing? Who knows…

It's still a little rough but I'm working on it.

It’s still a little rough but I’m working on it.

Do you have rules or guidelines that you follow for the holidays?  Lego Lad has told me you cannot, repeat, cannot have any Christmas decorations up before Thanksgiving, you must wait until after.

I wonder where he gets it from… 😉

*You didn’t know I was keeping score on this, did you?

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