We are just 2 short weeks away from the start of the busy holiday season – Thanksgiving. Like many families, you are probably busy planning a menu or getting your travel plans finalized. But if you are looking for an UN-traditional way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, we have some great ideas for you.
In addition to what we posted last week in our article, A Military Thanksgiving, you can sift through what we have come up with and make a tradition out of being un-traditional.
You don’t have to stick with browns, reds, yellows and oranges for Fall. ¬†Take a look at Pantone’s¬†FASHION COLOR REPORT FALL 2014 and incorporate a one, a few or all of these colors into your holiday decorations.
Add a “chalkboard” table runner to your table and provide chalk pens for the guests to write their “thankfuls”. ¬†You can take pictures and send those out to all of your guests. ¬†How about chalkboard placemats, especially for the “kid table”? A great way to keep them occupied! ¬†I love all things chalkboard, so look for cutouts and signs you can use to decorate the table, glasses, doors, etc in the “chalkboard motif”. Include Early Americana type tins or prints to add to the atmosphere.
I recently read a post on Facebook that talked about how the average¬†American will consume 3000-5000 calories on Thanksgiving, which is 2 days worth of calories!! ¬†Changing up the menu a bit this year may make that strain on your belt line less noticeable. ¬†I really enjoyed the ideas presented in this blog by HealthSource of Fort Walton Beach: ¬†Tips for a Thinner Thanksgiving. ¬†Quick, easy ways to change that menu: ¬†flavored water and tea instead of soda; include carb-reducing veggies hidden in traditional meals (ie: ¬†add mashed cauliflower to the mashed potatoes).
Some years, I honestly dread the ordeal of cooking and cleaning for a big Thanksgiving dinner and have pleasant daydreams about escaping that day. Researching for this article has made me realize that making those dreams a reality can actually do more good for me than I previously thought. I started thinking about what I could do to show my appreciation for others: ¬†volunteer at a Soup Kitchen/Homeless Shelter or the local VA Hospital helping with serving meals; provide rides to elderly neighbors or church members so that they can enjoy time with their friends or families; volunteer at¬†a Toys for Tots or similar toy drive with the local VFW/AMVETS/American Legion/Local Vet/Motorcycle Club. Your base chaplain can also be a wonderful resource for volunteering opportunities within the base you are stationed at or contact the local Wives Club or other service-minded organizations on base for their list of activities you can contribute to. All of these are family-friendly and a great way to get out of the house.