Thanksgiving is upon us. Some of you are probably excited for the spread of down-home, good cooking. Some of you are probably fretting over your to-do list. Some of you are probably plotting your Black Friday strategies. And some of you are thinking about how annoying your family is or whether you should even attend.
But here’s what I have to say: I drove by the local bar today, and I was so very impressed with the idea that they are hosting a Thanksgiving Day potluck for those who don’t have a place to go. I think that is truly a rockstar idea and the thoughtfulness of it is genuinely sweet. Way to go, Tailgaters! What a great situation for those that need it. However, those of us who don’t, should maybe take a step back and appreciate we don’t need a place to go, that our assumed holiday plans are still intact. It’s so easy to lose sight of that fact.
Let me go on record as saying, forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. Yes, your Uncle Tom will say something hideous like you’re going to be an old maid. Your mother will pick at the collar of your shirt and doubt your attire. Your 3-year-old niece will scream at the top of her lungs over the Cool Whip. Yes, you will be irritated, but they are your family. Do you know who realizes how important family is? Those who don’t have one. When you are in the thick of it, it’s hard to remember you are blessed with the crazy, the nosy, the difficult, the show-off, the once-a-year-glory-hound, the obnoxious, and the jokester, but you are.
The world is not an easy place, but it can be a good place. When we quit finding faults with those that surround us and start loving them for what they do have to offer, we all win. I won’t say that’s an easy task when you’ve been burned, and I won’t say everyone makes it easy, but Thanksgiving is about being thankful. Be thankful this Thursday… even when the toddler spills your wine. Because there’s always a silver lining: Walgreens will be open and it’s at least a 15-minute drive away from the clamor of the annual family flag football competition. See – always a solution!
Happy Turkey Day, America!
So you feel like everything in the news is depressing.
You feel like life is too busy and you are never home.
You believe in the good, but you’re tired of hearing about the bad.
You know you’re struggling on some front…or more.
If any, or all, of these sound like you, then there is no better time than now to dedicate yourself to The 6th Annual Blessed Turkey Project. I know. I get it. You don’t need one more thing to do, especially in November when the holidays are approaching, but I’m going to tell you it will be worth it.
If any of those things are plaguing you, then you need to allow yourself the pleasantry, the optimism, and the gratitude that comes with being a Blessed Turkey.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with my terminology, I define a Blessed Turkey as someone who is at least meeting all their basic needs with a place to live, a job or school, a family or friends or both, and enough food to eat, and although they know they should be grateful for all they have, they sometimes, get too caught up in the daily grind to appreciate it. It doesn’t necessarily mean they have it all together or that they have it easy, it just means they haven’t got it all wrong either! And they know enough to know they have it better than some. I am sooo a blessed turkey.
We tend to compare ourselves. We seem to always be wanting more. We think about everything around us and we get overwhelmed. It’s easy to do. But there’s no greater time than now to simply vocalize the gifts in our lives. I firmly believe it makes us happier. It makes us stronger. It makes us better people. It makes the world a better place. It makes us look at things differently. And most of all, it makes us part of something bigger.
This will not cost you any money (unless you decide to be a good Samaritan and buy a cup of Joe for someone or a can for the Food Pantry but that’s your decision, not mine). This is not something you have to do every day (although you’ll feel better if you do). This does not involve a committee, or funeral sandwiches, or you even leaving your house or your chair. Lol. It is simply taking a minute to be thankful for something each day between November 1 and Thanksgiving. Join here simply by clicking on the link! It can be a post on Facebook saying what you’re grateful for. It can be an Instagram pic of your favorite blessing. It can be a tweet of I’m a #BlessedTurkey because… All it is is a moment each day on some form of social media sharing your gratitude with others because, people, it spreads!
I’m not inviting you to the party because I want something from you. I’m inviting you to the party to give you something: I want to give you a little piece of happiness every day between now and Thanksgiving. I want to do that for you because there are good people in this world doing good things and celebrating that makes us all happier…and better…and kinder…and loved.
If you have people that you want to give this same gift to, share this with them and let’s wear our Blessed Turkey crowns proudly! All aboard the Blessed Turkey bus, head here: The Blessed Turkey Project – Year Six.
Elections: ick. No shave November: ew. Thanksgiving: yum! Black Friday: woo-hoo! The Blessed Turkey Project: yes, please! November brings lots of things, but, for me, one of the most important is that of giving thanks. This year especially, I have been spending lots of time worrying about what I need to accomplish and what lies ahead and a lot less time remembering how lucky I truly am. So what am I going to do about it? I’m going to spend some time focusing on others and less time obsessing about my crap. Hence, my love of one of my favorite things about November: The Blessed Turkey Project.
Are you a blessed turkey? Were you one last year? Do you wanna be one this year? Do you even know what one is?
A blessed turkey knows they’ve got it good. They know that there will always be bad people in the world, but they don’t want to be one of them. Maybe they conveniently forget how lucky they are when they get mixed up in the drama of the daily grind, but when they really think about it, they realize how much they have to be grateful for. I’m a blessed turkey, and I want to welcome you to join my Blessed Turkey Project.
For the month of November, I want to see my Facebook newsfeed filled with glad tidings. Every day till Thanksgiving, post a note, a picture, a cartoon, or whatever comes to your mind of something or someone you are thankful to have in your life. It’s easier than you think, and it doesn’t have to be all mushy-gushy or philosophical. Say you’re thankful for your mocha latte or your furnace or your best friend’s sister’s husband who killed the opossum that was hanging around your barn. (I know. Those are the real-life dramas right there!) Say whatever you have to say, but be thankful for what you’ve been given. You can do so on your own personal Facebook page and then tag The Blessed Turkey Project or you can just post on the The Blessed Turkey Project wall. Whatever you want.
If you want to be an overachiever, I will post ways you can do so throughout the month (but don’t feel obligated). Do as much, or as little, as you want. If you join the party at all, you’ll still be a blessed turkey in my eyes..
Even if you haven’t participated in my project, maybe you’ve said what you were thankful for each day on Facebook as part of some other group. Yay you! I am all for being thankful no matter what you call it, but I hope you consider taking time to join my party. Why?
*Because I’m sure you have a shortage of things to do on your to-do list! LOL
*Because I’m going to bribe you with prizes and feel-good moments others will envy! (true story actually)
*Because you are a good former Girl Scout/Boy Scout/4-Her/Catholic school goer or whatever that made you loyal to a cause or doing good!
*Because who doesn’t need an excuse to celebrate good times???
*Because “you’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony…” Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Go have a Coke and enjoy that song in your head the rest of the day. J
*But seriously, come join the party and invite your friends because there’s no greater feeling than realizing you are surrounding yourself with the right people and that there’s far more good in this world than bad if we just look a little closer.
I can’t make it any clearer than that. If you’re sick of your newsfeed being recipes, complaints, or election talk, come over to the good side with us. Participate every day. Participate once a week. Participate when you can. It costs nothing and will make you feel good. I promise.
Post the things and people you are thankful for. Do a few good deeds along the way and tell us about them. Just be a voyeur and snoop on what the rest of us are doing, that’s fine, too. Just show up. We’ll leave a smile on for you.
Finally, it’s my 5 year anniversary of the annual Blessed Turkey Project. Thanks to all of you who’ve been there along the way. And thanks to all of you who are coming on board. I’ve got a few things up my sleeve for the anniversary, hope you’re ready! J
Go here to participate: https://www.facebook.com/events/357549507928043/
Any advice for new-timers? Excited and wanting to shout it from the rooftops? Let’s hear what you have to say!
It’s Thanksgiving…And you can find a way to be thankful or you can shovel crap on it and complain. Me, I kinda like to do both. Lol. But in all truth, I prefer to be thankful and happy even though I’m wired to do just the opposite. So with that in mind, I wish you the happiest of Thanksgivings…
I hope you eat so much turkey that you have to unbutton your pants. I hope it then leads you to a nap on the couch under a blankey and drooling just a little. I hope you don’t threaten to kill Uncle Clement when he wakes you with his snoring. Instead, I hope you take a picture of him and give it to him at Christmas.
It would also be great if you took some pictures of the family or got in some pictures yourself. Don’t worry about your hair not being perfect or the 15 extra pounds. The only one that notices that is you. The rest are just happy you were there in that picture with them. Oh, and if you give it the ole thumb’s up routine, you look happier, cuter, and thinner anyway!
I hope you laugh when you spill pie on your sweater and say something like “Well, I’m savin’ some for later!” and figure it’s nothing Spray and Wash can’t fix later. I hope you then proceed to sneak some leftovers into a Cool Whip bowl to take home with you.
But don’t leave right away. I hope you camp out in the living room with your family. I hope you laugh and talk as you scan Black Friday ads and that you reminisce about Aunt Kay buying the same pajamas every year for you even though you hated them, but now you think about it fondly.
And please don’t kill the little kid that’s annoying everyone and climbing over everything. In fact, I hope you decide to play a game with him but only after you explain that you have to act like a “big boy” if you want to play. I hope you have so much fun that others come to join the game or at least check out the action.
I hope you get a chance to yell at the screen as you watch the football game and that you DVR’d the parade to watch with the kids when you get home. I hope you look around and appreciate that you have those people in your life. Even more so, I hope that on days when you want to kill them, you picture them lounging around the house, eating baked goods, and laughing about Uncle Clement’s snoring.
Most of all, I hope you realize what’s right in front of you – the love, the people, the time you get to spend together in a crazy world that doesn’t always slow down. And if your world isn’t so picturesque this Thanksgiving, I hope you take measures to make the next holiday better. I hope you make peace with your demons, or your relatives, or your grudges. Then, I hope you whip up a green bean casserole, a smile, and some plans with family or friends because after all, life doesn’t have a lot of meaning if you live it alone. So if no one else says it, I will: Happy Thanksgiving to you!
(And if you need a drink to put on that cheery smile or say that apology, there’s a cold one in my fridge for ya!)
Happy Turkey Day, my friends!
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Hey, there are plenty of reasons to hate Monday. I’m the first to agree, but who can hate a Monday that results in a Thursday of eating turkey, mashed potatoes, and pie with Cool Whip? Exactly! This is a Monday that brings results! Happy Thanksgiving Week, Everybody!
Have you noticed that Thanksgiving is when you remember who the good cooks are in your family? Or is your family the one that gets the meal from Hy-Vee because nobody knows how to cook?
Do people in your family have their “specialties” – the things everyone expects them to bring to a family gathering? Do you look forward to Thanksgiving Day just for Grandma Grace’s pumpkin pie or Sarah Ann’s homemade sourdough rolls?
I’m the member of the family who brings what nobody else wants to. Lol. My sisters both have specialties so I just pick up the slack. I’m the garlic bread, green beans, pink cottage cheese salad, or crockpot ham girl. I’m whatever I need to be. I’m the filler, but I’m okay with that because both my sisters’ rolls are To. Die. For. and if you’ve ever had Lori’s cheesy potatoes or dirt cake or Mischa’s chicken noodle soup or caramels, you know why I go to Thanksgiving!
Can you list off every food present at your dinner like I can or does everyone bring something different and out of the Paula Dean cookbook? The menu never changes at my mom’s house which I’m plenty okay with. I don’t know about you, but I am not a fan of the “let’s-try-something-new” theory of Thanksgiving. No, I don’t want your peppered-apple-stuffed turkey loaf or your barbecued mince meat turducken. It’s Thanksgiving! I want normal turkey. End of story. Well, that and mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, relish tray, homemade rolls, corn, and salad. Oh, and pecan pie, please!
Thanksgiving is all about tradition to me. The food, the family, the little pilgrim statues your Aunt Martha unburies and dusts off out of the china cabinet – those are meant to stay the same. So few things in our world stay the same, but those should. We all need some things we can count on just like Uncle Harold falling asleep after dinner and your little brother going outside to avoid having to help with dishes. Like it or not, it’s a good feeling to know those people so well that you can smile when you see the day in your head. You can save the surprises for Black Friday! Lol.
I guess that’s just my 2 cents, and if you have a convincing argument, then break it out. I wanna hear it. Or if you’re with me and you have pics on your phone of the best family foods ever, post ‘em. I wanna see ‘em. And I promise to do the same.
Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!
Have you seen all those comics about how the turkey tells Santa to wait his turn? I didn’t realize how true that was until my hubs decided we needed a Thanksgiving door decoration. Let me guess: you have the cutest thing ever on your door? Yeah, why don’t you just come make mine then?
Now, I love Pinterest as much as the next person, but I’m not exactly a crafty sort (well, in that sense of the word). I’m also not a fan of leaves on a wreath with berries and pumpkins which limited my options. No offense to those who like them, but I’m not so much of a herbivore-door-hanging-kind-of-girl. Just sayin’. So we went in search of Tom Turkey door décor only to find there was none out there!
That was devastating, because if you’ve been tuning in for the last month or so, you know 2 things:
one – my husband bought the dorkiest Halloween witch decoration that he named Hazel and talked to her every night.
And two – I am right in the thick of The 2nd Annual Blessed Turkey Project which means I’m in full-fledged Thanksgiving mode right about now. So when the hubs turned up no dorky décor in honor of the Pilgrims’ feast, I felt saddened for my boy. Who’s he going to torture me with if there’s no Tom to sport on our door?
Well, I did what any good wife would do. I manned up, broke out the felt and wallpaper samples and made my husband the ugliest, cheesiest turkey out there. In fact, Tom may be a little metrosexual if you ask me. He’s got the floral print going and a little pink on the side, too, but he reeks of friendliness! Just the way my husband would want him! I’m thinking about adding Tom and Hazel to our Christmas photo. After all, they are members of the family along with the deer in our backyard that last night didn’t even get up when I went to start the grill 8 feet from their nesting spot.
Yes, we are that family.
But here’s the thing: we’re never dull. And we’re grateful for even the most ridiculous of things which is why during the month of November we are all about The 2nd Annual Blessed Turkey Project. And we’d love to have you join in if you haven’t already.
Here’s to laughter, thanks-giving, and Tom the turkey welcoming you at the door. Now go make your own or show me what’s hanging on your door!