Surviving the Bird: Turkey Day Tips

University Avenue
So . . . Thanksgiving. It's no secret to my friends and family that this is not my favorite holiday. In fact, I'm becoming rather Scrooge-ish about the whole holiday season that spans Halloween to New Year's.  What gets me is that these holidays, which are supposedly about family and showing love and remembering what we appreciate, have turned into a circus of commercialism, expected gluttony, and getgetgetting.  It makes me want to crawl into a hole until February.  Sad for me, perhaps, but true.

This year I will once again be celebrating Thanksgiving at the house of the Best In-laws Ever.  I really like their take on the holidays.  We eat the requisite turkey and stuffing, but not to excess.  For Christmas, we enjoy a special meal (again, not to excess) and each other, with the focus off presents and Santa.  I find it to be very low stress, and my in-laws are slowly -- very slowly, but it's happening in spite of my staunch Scrooge-ism -- revolutionizing my pessimism toward the American holiday season.

This morning I discovered all sorts of sane blog posts on how to have a safe, healthy, and interesting Thanksgiving.  Here are some of my favorites:
Of course, I have my own Thanksgiving Day survival tips as well, inspired by what works for me and what I've heard at OA meetings:
  • Don't go crazy.  Enjoy the meal, but try to stick to one plate with no seconds.  
  • Stay away from the booze if it makes you feel sick, grumpy, or out of control.
  • Give yourself permission to splurge . . . a little.
  • This is the season to say, "No, thank you."  Don't let people bully you into eating more than you want.
  • Do what you need to do to keep yourself sane.  
  • If Turkey Day gets you stressed, reward yourself with a post-dinner treat -- paint your nails, take a hot bath, sip hot cocoa while snuggled up with a book.  I recommend adding a dog or two for extra-cozy snuggling.
All my bullet points boil down to this one rather obvious tip: be moderate, be mindful, and be true to yourself.  Happy Thanksgiving!

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