A Thanksgiving To-Do List

A Thanksgiving To-Do List

Along with baking the turkey and setting the table, be sure to use your time wisely!
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Each year, many families travel miles to be with loved ones to celebrate Thanksgiving.

November, known as the month of giving is centered around family, friends, and spending quality time together. Luckily for me, I have never had to travel more than 15 miles to spend time with my family for Thanksgiving. Each year, my family wakes up early in preparation for the viewing of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – which just so happens to rank at the top of my list for popular television showings.

We gather around the dining room table, to share a time of fellowship with each other and to share our thankfulness for the blessings the year has given to us. Along with the sentimental meanings of this special day, there are so many small happenings that contribute to this remarkable time of the year. Here is a list of a few things you could do with your friends and family throughout the extra-long weekend.

1. Watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

If you’ve never seen the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, you are truly missing out. My favorite part is always the Broadway segments, musical artist’s appearance and the extravagant floats. It is my dream to be seated front row right in front of the Macy’s Department Store in the heart of New York City. Stay tuned for more details, in making this dream become a reality.

2. Purchase and decorate your Christmas tree.

Alright, don’t criticize me for this one – but my roommate and I have already purchased our Christmas tree for the year. BUT – that is not to say that decorating the Christmas Tree and preparing for the Holidays can’t take place on Thanksgiving. Having the extra time off from school and work – it is the perfect time to decorate and get into the Holiday Spirit

3. Celebrate Black Friday.

Okay ladies, every single one of us – in some sort of fashion, love to shop. Whether it be thrift shopping, online shopping, or department store shopping – we all LOVE it. As for me, I have had many different shopping experiences on Black Friday. I highly recommend going around 4:00 pm on Black Friday. By this time, all of the crazy shoppers are long-gone, the stores have had a chance to restock the inventory left, and the deals are still popping!

4. Finalize your Christmas list.

Yes, I am nineteen years old, and guess what? I STILL have a Christmas List. Although my Christmas List has already been made and sent to my mother, Thanksgiving is the perfect time to add any finishing details to your list!

5. Enjoy Christmas decorations and festivities.

Although, most people do not start decorating their personal homes until the day after Thanksgiving, some public locations begin the Christmas festivities. With the schedule being fairly free, take advantage of the late nights. Ride around with your family and friends, listen to some Christmas music and enjoy the scenery!

6. Take a weekend trip.

Last but not least, use this long weekend to take a trip with your family or friends. Explore new places that you have never seen before. Any destination within a two or three-hour drive is the perfect destination for your weekend get-away!

In saying all these things, above all else relax, take a deep breath, and never forget the true reason for the season. Give thanks for your blessings, tell your loved cares how much you care, and take part of fellowships. Enjoy your company, for these special individuals are never guaranteed tomorrow!

Cover Image Credit: Public Holidays Global

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PSA: Keep Your Body-Negative Opinions Away From Little Girls This Summer

But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with.

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It's officially swimsuit season, y'all.

The temperature is rising, the sun is bright and shining, and a trip to the beach couldn't look more appealing than it does right now. This is the time of year that many of us have been rather impatiently waiting for. It's also the time of year that a lot of us feel our most self-conscious.

I could take the time to remind you that every body is a bikini body. I could type out how everyone is stunning in their own unique way and that no one should feel the need to conform to a certain standard of beauty to feel beautiful, male or female. I could sit here and tell you that the measurement of your waistline is not a reflection of your worth. I completely believe every single one of these things.

Hell, I've shared these exact thoughts more times than I can count. This time around, however, I'm not going to say all these things. Instead, I'm begging you to push your insecurities to the side and fake some confidence in yourself when you're in front of others.

Why?

Because our negative self-image is toxic and contagious and we're spreading this negative thinking on to others.

We're all guilty of this, we're with family or a friend and we make a nasty comment about some aspect of our appearance, not even giving a single thought to the impact our words have on the person with us. You might think that it shouldn't bother them- after all, we're not saying anything bad about them! We're just expressing our feelings about something we dislike about ourselves. While I agree that having conversations about our insecurities and feelings are important for our mental and emotional health, there is a proper and improper way of doing it. An open conversation can leave room for growth, acceptance, understanding, and healing. Making a rude or disheartening remark about yourself is destructive not only to yourself, but it will make the person you are saying these things around question their own self worth or body image by comparing themselves to you.

My little sister thinks she's "fat." She doesn't like how she looks. To use her own words, she thinks she's "too chubby" and that she "looks bad in everything."

She's 12 years old.

Do you want to know why she has this mindset? As her older sister, I failed in leading her by example. There were plenty of times when I was slightly younger, less sure of myself, and far more self-conscious than I am now, that I would look in the mirror and say that I looked too chubby, that my body didn't look good enough, that I wished I could change the size of my legs or stomach.

My little sister had to see the older sibling she looks up to, the big sis she thinks always looks beautiful, say awful and untrue things about herself because her own sense of body image was warped by media, puberty, and comparing herself to others.

My negativity rubbed off onto her and shaped how she looks at herself. I can just imagine her watching me fret over how I look thinking, "If she thinks she's too big, what does that make me?"

It makes me feel sick.

All of us are dealing with our own insecurities. It takes some of us longer than others to view ourselves in a positive, loving light. We're all working on ourselves every day, whether it be mentally, physically, or emotionally. But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with, our struggles and insecurities should not form into their own burdens.

Work on yourself in private. Speak kindly of yourself in front of others. Let your positivity, real or not, spread to others instead of the bad feelings we have a bad habit of letting loose.

The little girls of the world don't need your or my negative self-image this summer. Another kid doesn't need to feel worthless because we couldn't be a little more loving to ourselves and a lot more conscious of what we say out loud.

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3 Tips For Saying Goodbye For The Summer

When a few months feels like forever...

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Summertime is wonderful! You get time out of school, you can do all these fun things you've been wanting to do, and you get to spend time with your friends. Sometimes, however, your friends have to go off for the summer. Whether they're visiting family, going on vacation for a while, or even just working all the time and not able to see you, it can be hard knowing that your friend isn't gonna be around during what's supposed to be the best time of the year. You know it's temporary, but it still stinks!

Well, I've had to do this a couple of times, so I know a thing or two about dealing with your friend being gone for the summer. I hope that these tips will help your friend feel a little bit closer and the wait seem a little bit shorter:

1. Set up a scheduled system of communication.

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Call, text, email, snail mail, etc. You guys chose the easiest method of communication, and you stick to it. Knowing exactly when to expect a phone call means a lot when you miss someone. It may be difficult finding time that works for both people, but even a scheduled call one time a week is better than not even knowing when you're gonna hear from someone. You can even have a unique way to communicate. Do you like games? You can do multiplayer games online and spend time together that way. Are you old fashioned and like writing letter? Send them a letter to let them know how you are. We live in a world with so many methods of communication, so find which one helps you stay in touch.

2. Stay busy.

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I have spent my fair share mopeing around, waiting for someone to call and hoping that they'd be back soon. That is the worst way to spend your time! Instead of wasting you summer waiting by the phone, go out and do something. Spend time with other friends, go to the beach, do anything you want! Don't waste your summer trying to make time go faster; it doesn't work. Do things that'll help get your mind off of your friend being gone. It'll get easier as time goes along, so make use of the time you have.

3. Don't hold it in.

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Having your friend go off can be tough, especially if it's a person you're very close with. It's okay! You aren't being silly if you feel sad. Some people may even feel hurt, like they're being left behind. That's okay too! What isn't okay is bottling it up and not talking to someone about it. What isn't okay is taking that fear and frustration out on other people, especially the friend that's gone. Talk to someone about it. Write some journal entries about how you're feeling. Don't sit around feeling sad and lonely and left behind. Get out of your own head and realize that everything will be okay. They didn't leave you behind, you're not gonna be sad forever, and everything will be okay.

Well, I hope you have a good summer! Yeah, that person has left, but they'll be back soon. Just live your summer day by day, and they'll be back before you know it!

Good luck!

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