How to Throw the Best Thanksgiving Ever!


Okay so Thanksgiving is kind of a huge deal for my family! Growing up we’d hit Noni and Papa’s farm first and it was all cousins, and playing, and football, and plaid jackets! (I have distinct memories of so many plaid jackets!) Then we’d come back to town and go to Mawmaw and Pawpaw’s house, and it was very different but so amazing too! It was exclusively FOOOOOOOOOD and uncle vic. (Insert heart eye emoji for Uncle Vic. IFYKY)

I absolutely LOVE Thanksgiving and have years and years of incredible memories! In fact, last year we ate at a Michelin Starred restaurant in Versailles for Thanksgiving. 2 years before that we climbed a mountain in Kenya and enjoyed an authentic spread of Kenyan fair from this incredible African woman who just kept bringing out bowls of food and the sweetest cane sugar Coke’s you could imagine! So this year we’re compiling the simplest list of how to host and have the best Thanksgiving ever!!! To be fully honest with you, we get kind of sick of these types of lists all over Pinterest. They’re all “8 ways to set your table for Thanksgiving” and “22 sides you MUST have at your Thanksgiving table” and this and that and this and that. Y’all know what we’re talking about…the type of lists that make you go “okay…I just did stouffer’s stuffing this year…I’m sorry…” and “I did get some pumpkins for the porch! Is that enough?!” We’re here to tell you, girl, you are SOOOO MORE THAN ENOUGH! And here’s the true list for hosting and having the best Thanksgiving Ever!


And this is coming from the Queen of stressing about food, but it’s rule #1 for a reason. If cooking is the joy of your life then girl, you start your meal prep 3 weeks ahead and you get in there and make lists and calendars and knock it out! You’re amazing! But if the thought of brining a turkey makes you want to literally crawl into a hole, then this is for you!!! DON’T STRESS ABOUT THE FOOD!!!!! My favorite thanksgiving of my whole life was sitting around that white plastic table in Kenya, eating ugali, githeri, sukuma wiki, chapati!


This one is tricky y’all. It’s tricky! This whole list is honestly tricky and is really bucking tradition. But what if instead of rushing out the house to hit these parent’s house, then leaving early to catch the game at the other parent’s house, and worrying about if the potatoes have enough butter, and wearing your itchiest (but totally cute) Fall sweater, and wondering if that aunt is going to say something offensive to your new boyfriend — what if instead of all that you invested in your own personal wellness? What if instead you went camping with your family? What if instead you went on a hike? Or sat at the park? Played with sidewalk chalk in your own driveway? What if you just removed every list, expectation, pressure, and stressor (maybe just for one year! Or maybe every other year?) and instead invested in what’s best for you and those closest to you?


There’s nothing that fills the human soul like the outpouring of thankfulness. Frankly, our culture, our society, our country is not built around this lifestyle, so it can feel unnatural or even silly, but we believe giving thanks is literally the most healing, fulfilling, and lifting thing we can do! Living with a specific and particular mindfulness on Thanksgiving day, and the weeks surrounding creates a deep soul peace that is needed for all, but especially members of a culture who call the rat race the “dream.”


One of the best ways my family has been able to apply all 3 of these tips and have the Best Thanksgiving Ever is to ditch it all, ditch the traditional Holiday scene and hit the road! 2014 was an incredibly tough year for my family and by the time the Holiday’s rolled around, we called a serious audible. Sarah had gone through several months of chemo then radiation. Noni was also going through chemo at the same time then passed away in November. Suddenly Pawpaw passed away just a few weeks later. All the while I was in Kenya. Our family was reeling and we unanimously called the Holiday season off. We didn’t decorate the house, we didn’t do gifts, we didn’t do any of the noise, and the stress, and anything that required any energy! Instead, we packed our stuff, flew to New York, and spent Christmas in New York eating street food and freezing our butts off! It’s like every step through China Town was a healing salve on our ragged hearts. More healing for us than any big dinner or big family event, or really any of the traditional holiday to-dos. Since then, our new tradition is to leave the house, or possibly leave the country for Thanksgiving and it’s the best decision we’ve ever made as a family! Bottom line, you’ll know it’s been The Best Thanksgiving Ever if your heart feels lighter, shinier, and fuller than ever. If that’s not the feeling you normally have, then we need to rethink our traditions, and commit to better traditions for happier Holiday’s!

For more tips click over to Sarah’s blog about how to decorate for the fall this crazy year!

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