Thanksgiving Day is only a few weeks away.  As soon as we turn the calendar to November, that last Thursday of the month seems to loom.  It can mean so many different things to different people.  Will you travel out of town?  Will you entertain out of town guests?  Will you cook the dinner or just bring one dish or sit down in a restaurant?  Will you be with family?  Maybe you’ll be with friends without family?  Or, do you plan to be alone that day, and is that what you want?

From the menu to the weather to the day’s activities, Thanksgiving Day is fraught with expectations.  Yes, I mean fraught, as I also meant loom, above.  While it can be a beautiful holiday full of fun, yummy food and delightful memory-making, it can also be stressful, chaotic, disappointing and just plain difficult!

We can’t completely decide what Thanksgiving will be like, of course, but we can take some steps to keep it a positive day.  That’s the wise part of thinking about it for almost a month—as long as we’re thinking, not worrying—and planning, not obsessing!

Here’s an idea:  Begin this month already being thankful—about the many joys coming up on Thanksgiving Day.  Reflect on the people you will see and what they mean to you. Think about people you know who might be alone and see if you might include them in your day.  If you yourself are alone, decide how you are going to treat yourself—are there friends you can join for the day or is there a favorite dish you can enjoy on your own along with a good book or movie?

This is one holiday that belongs to all of us—no special creed or race or interest group can claim Thanksgiving for themselves.  Enjoying turkey or enchiladas or kimchee, or whatever foods help us celebrate best, we all know what it means to be thankful; we all know how and why we give thanks.