My favorite holiday has ended and it’s Christmastime! But before I can go into full blown Christmas-mode, I need to reflect on how lovely Thanksgiving is. It’s my favorite holiday because there are no obligations other than being (and eating) with family and friends. There’s no stress of buying the right gift, staying in a certain budget or partaking in any part of the consumer world.. other than buying food!
Instead of thinking of the things we don’t have, we focus on the things we are thankful for. That focus on gratitude and things we have is so key to living a life of happiness because it helps us remain positive. This dose of gratitude seems perfectly timed to be right before Christmastime when we are inundated with advertisements and messages to buy things that will make our lives better.
In contrast, when I reflect each Thanksgiving on what I’m most Thankful for it is always the intangible things that can’t be bought – my supportive family and amazing friends! I have a feeling I’m not the only one who feels that way too. My goal is to keep that feeling of gratitude throughout the whole holiday season, so I can truly enjoy the holiday season and avoid comparing what I have to what others have. I know this is much easier said than done, so I’ll get off my soapbox for now and share some highlights from my Thanksgiving weekend.
This year, I did Thanksgiving a little different with my family. We went out to the mountains for a couple days with aunts, uncles, cousins and my 88-year-old grandfather. It was extra special to have family on my dad and mom’s side together, since it has been a long time since that has happened.
We drove through the Blue Ridge Mountains on Wednesday and had dinner at a tiny, local diner before we arrived at The Homestead. Located close to the West Virginia border in Hot Springs, Va., The Homestead is a beautiful hotel with historic charm and lots of outdoor activities. If you are in the DC area, it really makes for a great long weekend trip.
Once everyone arrived on Wednesday, we all had dinner together. On Thanksgiving Day, we went on a hike along a trail that followed several waterfalls. It was beautiful and the perfect activity to increase our appetite right before eating Thanksgiving dinner (read: piling our plates with turkey, dressing and mashed potatoes)!
While I missed being in the kitchen and helping cook, it was so refreshing to be outside in the country and away from the craziness of city life. After Thanksgiving with my family I was able to catch up with some high school friends over some delicious fried chicken at Hen Quarter in Alexandria’s Old Town, go on a lovely walk with Will and Maddie and do a little relaxing before Monday.
Did you have a good Turkey Day? What are you most thankful for this year? I always love hearing about how friends spend Thanksgiving because there are so many ways to enjoy the day and so many different traditions out there.
Cheers to the holiday season!