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9 Things Only Thanksgiving Dinner Planners Understand

9 Things Only Thanksgiving Dinner Planners Understand

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I am very appreciative of my life and the people in it, and I am proud to live in a country that has set aside a day to be thankful. Thanksgiving allows us to focus on the people in our lives–the people sitting around our table. Here are 9 things only Thanksgiving dinner planners would understand.

1. The appropriate time to have a drink is whenever the cooking starts.

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    Many people use the saying that “it’s happy hour somewhere”. On Thanksgiving happy hour can be at 7 in the morning, because you always cook better with a little wine in your system. Food tastes better with a little wine or booze in it too. Bourbon sweet potatoes, anyone? A cup of white wine inside the turkey keeps it moist. I subscribe to the “one cup of alcohol for the recipe, and one one cup of alcohol for me” technique. This technique is a far cry from being trained in a French cooking school, but it is a lot more fun.

    2. You can never have too many folding chairs.

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    table

      Most tables seat six or eight people. Folding chairs are small and fit in the corners nicely. You can also pair them with the folding table in your garage (it’s out there, probably behind the Christmas decorations). The best people to put into folding chairs are children or guests you may feel impartial about. If you are a guest in a folding chair, you may not be as close to the host as you thought. The folding chair occupant should probably have a plan B location for next year because chances are good you may not be invited back to this house.

      3.  You can never have too many side dishes.

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        Let’s face it.  The turkey is the centerpiece, but turkey does not exactly have the same taste as baby back ribs. Oh sure, I make it more interesting by filling it with white wine, but I am eyeing the sweet potato casserole or creamed corn long before I make it to the turkey. Turkey is the only meat triathletes eat. How satisfying could it possibly be?

        4. If you live somewhere where you can, eat outside.

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        firstthx

          If you live somewhere where you cannot even imagine eating Thanksgiving outside because of weather, maybe you should consider moving. Believe it or not there are states in this country where the weather will be 75 degrees and sunny on Thanksgiving. Eating outside really brings home the giving thanks idea. Thanksgiving is about the first settlers giving thanks for their first bountiful harvest. It is about celebrating our reliance on the land and the land taking care of us. You can really appreciate the land more when you are outside.

          5. If you are eating outside, hang small white lights in the trees.

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            I am talking about the small Christmas lights. They are festive all year long. They really can make an outside space feel warm and inviting.

            6. When all your guests cannot walk around each other’s chairs to get seconds, that’s okay.

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              Our houses were not built to serve a a 12-person dinner. The table will all of a sudden no longer fit in the room where it has fit all year long. People won’t be able to get past the other chairs to bring their plate to the kitchen or to get seconds. Don’t worry about it. In fact if you use my one cup for the food and one cup for me concept you’ll be too buzzed to care. Which leads me to my next point…

              7.  Getting too buzzed to care is the best way to prepare for Thanksgiving.

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                I am not advocating you cook drunk. We use too many sharp knives, hot pans and ovens to be drunk. What I am saying is enjoy the day. Enjoy the cooking, setting the table and even cleaning up. Thanksgiving is about spending time with friends and family, not about everything going perfect. Don’t sweat the small stuff. If the place cards are sloppy or a pie is under cooked, nobody cares.

                8. Food tastes better when you cook with the Macy’s Day Parade on the television in the background.

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                  I don’t know why this is the case. It just is. Maybe the parade creates some sort of mystical occurrence in the kitchen.

                  9. Food tastes better when it is cooked with love.

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                    People can tell when you cook with love. Cooking for and feeding someone is the ultimate sign of love. Without nourishment, people die. When you feed others, you are taking care of them on a very fundamental level. I love to cook. However, I love to cook for my wife and kids more. It is my way of taking care of them and showing that I love them.

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                    Last Updated on January 21, 2020

                    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                    Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

                    your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

                      Why You Need a Vision

                      Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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                      How to Create Your Life Vision

                      Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

                      What Do You Want?

                      The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

                      It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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                      Some tips to guide you:

                      • Remember to ask why you want certain things
                      • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
                      • Give yourself permission to dream.
                      • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
                      • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

                      Some questions to start your exploration:

                      • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
                      • What would you like to have more of in your life?
                      • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
                      • What are your secret passions and dreams?
                      • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
                      • What do you want your relationships to be like?
                      • What qualities would you like to develop?
                      • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
                      • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
                      • What would you most like to accomplish?
                      • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

                      It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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                      What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

                      Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

                      A few prompts to get you started:

                      • What will you have accomplished already?
                      • How will you feel about yourself?
                      • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
                      • What does your ideal day look like?
                      • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
                      • What would you be doing?
                      • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
                      • How are you dressed?
                      • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
                      • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
                      • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

                      It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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                      Plan Backwards

                      It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

                      • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
                      • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
                      • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
                      • What important actions would you have had to take?
                      • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
                      • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
                      • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
                      • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
                      • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

                      Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

                      It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

                      Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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