What To Do When Everything About Your Thanksgiving is Non-Traditional


It’s fall y’all! My excitement in writing those words is pure excitement because here in Texas (and across most of the southern part of the United States) the weather has been unseasonably warm. We were still seeing daily highs in the 80s and 90s until very recently.

But now, it has appeared to have cooled off. First the temps dropped down to the 70s, but now we are waking up to some frost. During the day, the sun is out and the temperatures are comfortable. This is totally cool by my standards because I do not fully appreciate the value of cold weather. Translation: I hate winter. In other words, fall is my jam.

I know for a lot of us the transition to fall happened when football season and pumpkin everything began, but for me it didn’t. During the months of September, October, and most of November, I felt like I was just going through the motions; claiming to love fall but not really feeling like we were truly there yet.

And now we are celebrating Thansgiving. And immediately thereafter, we’ll be into Christmas and Hanukkah and New Year’s. This year in particular, Thanksgiving is different. This year, my family is mourning an additional loss in the death of my aunt that just doesn’t feel right. Holidays were important to her, even the holidays that we didn’t converge at her house. And for lack of a better word, it’s just weird without her being here.

The current political climate of our country is full of tension, stress, and yes, even hatred. That does not bode well for giving thanks. It’s hard, and without going into why and how and healing and such we are forced to wait and see what’s going to happen next.

In a way, we are now forced to accept a new normal, not only for celebrating the holidays, but for living. The new normal signifies change. And change can be hard. But even in the changes, there can be fun. There can be rest. There can be a time for family togetherness. 


Last year, our family started our Thanksgiving celebration with 25,000 of our closest friends at The Turkey Trot in Dallas. This year, we’re doing things a bit differently.

This week we are travelling to our heartflet home state of Mississippi and spending the holidays “resort style” with our family. It’s a break in tradition for us because for the first time in about seven years, we won’t be having dinner at my friend Cathy’s house, but we will still stay in touch with our Dallas loved ones who are having more traditional fare.

  1. FaceTime. We plan to FaceTime and Google Hangout all of our Dallas friends Thanksgiving morning to tell them Happy Thankgsiving. Of course, we could send the dreaded group text message, but we’d like to actually see them.
  2. Our Thankful Journals. I’m insisting encouraging the kids to write in gratitude journals this week. Everyone should list at least 10 things they are grateful for each day. By the end of the week, we should have an incredible list!
  3. We aren’t shopping. Usually on Thanksgiving night after all of the eating has happened, my three teens and I head to our local outlet stores for some retail therapy. Because we will be at least an hour away from any malls, we won’t be shopping. And furthermore, because the rest of the weekend we will be travelling back to Dallas, we probably won’t hit any Black Friday weekend  sales. This one has me feeling some type of way but  I am looking foward to spending quality time with my family in a non-traditional way.

Have you ever celebrated a non-traditional Thanksgiving? What did you do?

Don’t forget! You can follow along with our non-traditional Thanksgiving fun on Instagram and on Snapchat. Have a great holiday!


One thought on “What To Do When Everything About Your Thanksgiving is Non-Traditional

  1. Pingback: Home is Where the Heart Is – My Life With Him and Them

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