10 Creative Ways To Spice Up This Year's Thanksgiving

10 Creative Ways To Spice Up This Year's Thanksgiving

Along with pumpkin pie, apple pie is a timeless classic. Try switching it up this year with an apple crisp or apple turnover cake.

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Halloween is an exciting time, but before we know it we'll be going home for a day of food, football, and family, my personal favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. You can use these ten creative ideas to spice up your Thanksgiving this year.

1. Bake pumpkin muffins

One of my favorite Thanksgiving snacks, these have always been a staple in my house. They're a great way to repurpose your pumpkin pie mix.

2. Make turkey-shaped place cards

Something I've done almost every year since I was little, these are a fun and easy craft that will keep your table looking extra festive. Cut out a construction paper turkey, writing each name on the belly and adding different colored feathers behind. You can have everyone write something they're thankful for on each feather behind their name when they're seated at the table.

3. Make homemade cranberry sauce

A Thanksgiving essential, you can opt for an easy recipe that uses fresh cranberries or even frozen ones instead of serving it straight from the can.

4. And homemade stuffing

Another one that is so much better made from scratch than out of the box, stuffing is super easy to throw together and there are endless simple recipes and combinations.

5. Craft woven placemats

This is another simple craft that is easy for kids and will deck out your table. All you need are scissors and some fall colored construction paper.

6. Change up the traditional apple pie

Along with pumpkin pie, apple pie is a timeless classic. Try switching it up this year with an apple crisp or apple turnover cake.

7. Make a spiced orange centerpiece

Another great seasonal craft, spiced orange pomander balls are easy to make, smell amazing, and make a great centerpiece for your table. All you need are firm fresh citrus fruit, a toothpick, and cloves, and you can make designs while sticking the cloves in the peel. Don't forget to stick them in the fridge overnight to preserve their usage.

8. Literally, spice up your turkey

Every family has a different way of preparing their turkey, but to make sure you have that flare of someone who's been doing it for years, you can mix it up with your seasoning. One combination is to make a compound butter, which includes softened butter mixed with seasoning and flavor like fresh citrus zest, thyme, and oregano.

9. Play card and board games

In my house watching football is an all-day occurrence on normal Sundays and especially on Thanksgiving. Whether or not you're a football family, nothing brings everyone together like a little competition. You can follow dinner up with family activities like playing cards or board games.

10. Not only saying what other's have done for you, but what you've done for others

It's important to share what you're thankful for, acknowledging the good fortune you've had in your life. Thanksgiving is a time to be around the people have touched our lives. This year, try to reflect on what you've done to give back to others, instead of just being grateful for what you have and what you've experienced.

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12 Gifts To Give Your Girlfriend On Valentine's Day

All of these gift ideas will for sure win over your girlfriend's heart this year!
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To all the last-minute gift givers of Valentine's Day:

Don't panic. While I know how stressful it can be to get the perfect gift for your significant other, there are so many gift ideas that people always forget as an option. The best part about Valentine's day is not the gifts you get, but rather the romantic time you get to spend with your loved one. So don't worry about how expensive the gift is, just worry about how much thought you put into it. If you are still stuck on a gift to buy for your girlfriend, here are 12 ideas to get the ball rolling for you:

1. Chocolate



Chocolate is every woman's best friend. It also can be your wallet's best friend for this Valentine's Day season. A box of chocolate can warm your girlfriend's heart for a low price.

Buy a box on Amazon.


2. Flowers



Flowers. Another common, but romantic gift for your girlfriend. Get creative with it. Throw rose pedals all over the bed, or hand her a giant bouquet all at once. Either way I am sure she will love it.

Buy them on Amazon.


3. Giant Teddy Bear



This is a gift that I always found so adorable. While it can be obnoxious to purchase and carry around, the look on your girlfriend's face when she sees it will make it all worth it. She can cuddle the bear when you're not around. ;)

Buy one on Amazon.


4. Wine



Again, another luxury that is a woman's best friend. You cannot go wrong with buying your girlfriend a bottle, or bottles, of wine. The only question you have to ask yourself when buying it is, red or white?

Buy a set of glasses to match on Amazon.


5. A Couple's Massage

Um, hello. Who wouldn't love this gift? Not only is it a gift for her, but it is one for you as well. This gift can also be surprisingly cheap. Many places offer amazing deals during the Valentine's Day season!


6. Dinner

There is absolutely nothing wrong with just taking your girlfriend to a romantic dinner on Valentine's Day. Dinner can be expensive enough as it is, the important thing to remember is to make memories that will last a lifetime during the meal.


7. A Movie



Again, nothing wrong with just going to a movie for the night. Sometimes a movie can set the level of romance you need for Valentine's Day.

Buy an AMC gift card on Amazon.


8. A Necklace



I know what you're thinking, too expensive! Don't throw away the necklace idea just yet. There are so many stores that sell such elegant necklaces, and they are decently priced as well. Check out stores like Alex and Ani, or Pandora for great deals, or just order from Amazon!


Buy one on Amazon.


9. A Ring



While this gift may only apply to a select few, imagine how memorable this day would be for your girlfriend. Do not think it is too cliche to propose to your girlfriend on Valentine's Day. Who cares how many other people do it, think about the joy it will bring her.

Buy a diamond ring on Amazon.


10. Clothes



Plan and buy your girlfriend's outfit for the night! It saves her time figuring out what to wear, and you just bought her clothes that she will absolutely adore!

Buy a sweater she will love on Amazon.


11. A One Night Stay at a Hotel



I don't think I have to say anything about this gift. You all know how romantic this is.

Buy a Hotels.com gift card on Amazon.


12. Personalized Picture Frame



A gift that is beyond thoughtful. Taking all of your pictures of memories from before and putting them together for your girlfriend is a gift that will for sure have her in tears.

Buy one on Amazon.


Please note that all items are in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

Cover Image Credit: Chip Party Ideas

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Do Not Be Ungrateful This Thanksgiving, Here Are 33 Reasons Why You Should Be Thankful

We do not spend enough time being thankful, and that is unfair

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Thanksgiving is a beautiful, unique and American holiday. Thanksgiving is about food, about family, but especially is about being thankful. I know, we spend a lot of our time complaining about several things, our job, our professor, our boss, our partner, our family, ourselves, our politicians, our favorite artist, our car and much more.

We do not spend enough time being thankful, and that is unfair. We have many reasons to say thanks; I give you thirty-three. Here are my reasons to be thankful (and I think they are yours too):

1. Our family. Even if you don’t like them, they made you like you are.

2. To be alive. You may not like your life, but it is an opportunity.

3. To live in the US. Have you seen all the people in the world who want to live here? The US is a country full of opportunities.

4. Our jobs. I don’t like mine either, but it pays my bill, and it reminds me I can do something better.

5. Our schools/colleges/universities. We are so lucky because we have the chance to study.

6. To vote. It took thousands of years to get the right to vote and chose our representatives, governors, presidents, senator and others (if you’re a woman or part of a minority you must be more thankful).

7. For Facebook. The best way to know our friends and relatives’ lives

8. For our favorite TV shows. We are living in the golden age of TV; we are so lucky (and we have TV Reboots & Revivals).

9. We can dream. We can change our lives; we can choose our destiny. Half of the people in the world do not have that chance.

10. For love. It does not matter if you have a partner or you don’t; enjoy the fact you have your stories and you will have more.

11. For babies, puppies, cats and dogs. What would we do with all those hours watching their videos on Youtube?

12. Free sexuality. We are living in the time where you can be anything you want, and you can love anybody you want. Just think, fifty years ago, we were prisoners of society.

13. “Game of Thrones” is back in April 2019. We have been waiting too long.

14. For books. Reading makes us better people.

15. For Instagram. Food never was more important than now. IG is the best way to know how our celebrities’ lives are.

16. For our friends. I cannot imagine my life without my friends; they are my rock and the best support in the worse moments.

17. For Netflix. How did we spend our Sundays before?

18. We are the last generation who can handle climate change and save the world.

19. For Christmas. 

20. For your kids. I am talking about your own, your nephews, nieces, siblings, godchildren, step kids, even your neighbors.

21. For alcohol and all the good memories (and really bad decisions), it made us have.

22. Freedom of the press. Today more than any other time we must be thankful about freedom of the press (and we must protect it).

23. For our health. Even if you are not completely healthy, you are in the era where medicine is available and improving every second.

24. For #Metoo movement. Finally, we can share our experiences and stop them for the next generations.

25. For traveling. You can go to Australia, Madagascar, France or Chile if you want. There are no limits.

26. For freedom.

27. For second chances. We all need them in all the moments of our lives.

28. For food. Because it makes our lives better and delicious.

29. For memes. Now each picture has a huge potential to be famous.

30. For God or the Gods. Be thankful because you have somebody who listens to your prays.

31. For the Future. Because we can make it.

32. For the past. Because it is our history.

33. For the present. We are living the best of all the times. Today, most of the social movements have had important advances. It is easier to be a woman, a minority, a refugee, an immigrant or have a disability. 

Yes, probably I am missing some important motives to be thankful which means there are dozens of more reasons. By the way, Happy Thanksgiving!

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