top of page

Thanksgiving Gatherings...Black Friday...and Cyber Monday

Yes, I can't say Thanksgiving has sneaked up on me, but one day it was a future event but

now it's reality time. Are you gathering with family this year or might you be alone for the holiday? No one likes to think about this but there are many out there that the Holiday Season has changed for them. Empty nesters whose children may not be able to get home this year and you are looking at Thanksgiving as a couple for the first time in decades. We all go through these transitions and changes in our families and friends. You loose a parent or you become a widow, or there is a terminal illness and it tinges your holiday with sadness. Some of us are lucky and traditions stay almost the same but not for all of us. Change isn't a bad thing in itself. It's how we adapt to change that matters. We can become depressed or we can see what changes or new tradition we can make that brings us joy.

Even if your gathering of family may be shrinking in size you can still embrace some of your traditions or start some new ones to fit the changes in your holiday get together. It can be hard to do this but it's better than dwelling on past gatherings and how today's gatherings have changed. Yes it's hard. Depression and sadness are a part of many peoples lives this time of year. The trick is to overcome this feeling before it takes hold. Would it not be better to work with what you have since it may not be possible to continue past traditions.

How about if you are completely on your own this year. I have been there and it is the hardest. My son is a firefighter and only has Thanksgiving Day off every fourth year. So our little family has to gather before the holiday or after which means I can be on my own for Thanksgiving. I have found ways to enjoy the Thanksgiving Day by having something planned. I fix myself a special meal. It could just be ice cream with all my favorite toppings or a steak with sautéed mushrooms. Then I might spend the day watching Hallmark Christmas movies or I rent a movie I have been wanting to see. You could go to a movie if you're tempted to go out. I have decorated my Christmas tree on Thanksgiving Day. Then may get a start on my online gift shopping. I like to usually have my Christmas shopping done early so I can sit down, get out the roll of brown paper and paint the paper using stencils, stamps or paint a Christmas theme on the paper. Once it's dry I can move right into wrapping gifts Thanksgiving evening and finish it up with twine or Christmas ribbon. I'm then free to enjoy when we do have are Thanksgiving gathering. You can also find a friend or single family member to enjoy the day with. Have an elderly relative in nursing home? Why not a quick visit to brighten their day. If you plan ahead there are a lot of restaurants you can order a take out Thanksgiving dinner, or for that matter your local dinner could provide you with a take out meal the day before then just dress it up on Thanksgiving day on a beautiful plate and a nice glass of wine. It's so much better than being in bed feeling depressed. The choice is really up to you.

You and your hubby empty nesters for Thanksgiving? The kids can't make it home and you can't go to them? Have an empty nester's Thanksgiving get together. Invite another couple or several that are in the same boat as you for the holiday or go all the way and invite others you know are alone for the holiday. Everyone can bring a dish and beverage and do it buffet style right down to the paper plates for easy cleanup. Have others contribute by coming early and helping set up buffet tables, bar area and desert table so it's serve yourself. Then settle into Football or card games.

No matter what your number of people is even if it's just you do something special to celebrate the day. It could be as simple as sharing a meal together on FaceTime with someone you love. Make happy memories. Read that steamy romantic novel, watch that movie or craft the day away. If you need to be around people and want to be useful volunteer for a Thanksgiving celebration at your local church, nursing home or city planned program. All of them are looking for volunteers. All I'm trying to say is it's up to you. You have a right to spend the day being miserable if you want. I just hate to see that. I'm not saying it will be your best Thanksgiving yet, but it just might be enough to get you through the day and maybe, just maybe feel glad you did something for yourself that lifts your spirits.

As for me I'm fortunate this year. My son's day off is Thanksgiving. We will be doing our traditional Thanksgiving at my daughter n law's cousin's home were we too share a meal with some the our own their own. Our family has been seeing changes almost every year. Our family is shrinking in size. We have retained what traditions we can and have moved onto others. We eventually all make transitions, it's just up to you how you want to conduct yourself when life dishes out the unexpected.

So there is still some time to plan. Make Thanksgiving changes something you can enjoy no matter your

present circumstances. I feel it's best to embrace what blessings you have with grace and not to take the present for granted.

Since I'm not cooking this year, here are some simple recipe ideas for the Holiday Season.

From my home to your's, enjoy blessings on this Thanksgiving.

Recipe ideas form Pinterest @lady decluttered


Handmade Christmas

Hand crafted for Christmas shopping locally or shopping for handcrafted on Black Friday or Cyber Monday with small businesses. The choice is yours.

I talked about DIY and handmade items you can make in my October Blog. Go back and check it out if you missed it. Check out below a slideshow demo for one last handmade item if you're that DIY crafter. It's an inexpensive idea that doesn't take much time.

How to Dress up an inexpensive journal.

This month I'm mostly concentrating on those of you that don't craft but want to do a handmade Christmas this year. There are plenty of small businesses that craft, paint and epicycle items into unique gift items for you. Your choice is were you want to shop. Will it be your local small businesses, or smalll businesses that are on line. With most of them you won't have to wait for Black Friday or Cyber Monday. The majority of them are getting a head start on these two huge shopping days


Download DOC • 11.73MB

I really believe we should all consider handmade gifts this year or a mix especially if you have those on your list with big power tool and electronic items. Why not go for handmade for smaller gifts for friends, family, and neighbors. You know the ones I mean. Those you want to give a little something to. Making gifts for this group or buy handmade gist for this group of people. I haven't meant anyone who doesn't appreciate a coffee up filled with homemade candy or cookies. If you are not one of he DIYers I talk to last month about making gifts. Then buying handmade from artisans are for you. Think loss cal small business, local holiday craft fairs, and farmers markets if you're in warmer climates. There are always a good selection of baked goods, homemade jams and even a jar of spiced peaches. Knitted caps and scarfs, small original artwork, candles and hand crafted soaps. You know the kind of little things you know someone loves but they never buy for themselves.

Buy small potted plants and place them into brown paper bags that you have folded the top down a couple of times then type twine, ribbon or Christmas cord. You can also fold brown paper around the pot and tye with cord. You can also do tiny little potted plants like 2" pots of succulents done up in a little paper and twine can set beside each plate at the dinner table and can be a gift your guests take home.

Now for those shopping local, small businesses are probably ready. There can be so much to choose from. Take a good look around. Small business try to bring in things outside the box that is not normally in their stores.

Have you purchased a custom mug for someone? Why not fill it with a treat you have made or a local treat from a local small business. In my town there is an antique store that carries vintage candies and soda pop (think 1940's or 1950's) that is still produced today. What a nostalgic memory for someone who remembers these treats from childhood or introduce them to a younger generation. Place your treat inside the cup then use tissue and some cellophane wrap.draw the papers together at the top and tie with a cord or ribbon. You can find rolls of cellophane with snow flakes on them at Amazon but check out Hobby Lobby and Michaels.

Now is also the time to checkout your local thrift book store. It's a great place to find books for someone that has a hobby like knitting, woodwork, gardening or cooking. So many young people have a renewed interest in these subjects. One last thought. Do you have a sister or friend that secretly enjoys romance novels or mystery novels. Why not but together a small collection of books in a basket for them. Such a special gift that will bring them hours of pleasure.

Now onto online and Cyber Monday shopping early at small online businesses. Yes crafting and artist original artwork are a small business that help support their families. That's the great thing about online small business they are ready now trying to beat out the big online shopping sites. Of course most of us are familiar with Estys. The platform is completely made up of small business that specialize in handmade and crafted to the vintage things that are making a come back. Thinks tools and supplies for your favorite hobbyist. Don't forget your budding writers and journal keepers. There are also watercolor journals and art journals for those that paint and draw. Don't forget small original artwork. Get someone started in collecting little canvases of original artwork instead of mass produced decorative art. Many artist also carry some kind of boutique items from throw to jewelry. There is so much you can can find handmade online including event painted denim jackets.

If you have no idea were to get started here our a few of my favorite websites other than Etsy. Please check them out. A couple of them even have shops in their local areas plus their websites. Late but not least if you're worried about porch pirates this time of year check out if you have a local business that is a drop site for packages. Even my little town has one set up at the local antique shop to do this and then just pick your packages up.

My favorite online shopping websites: she also has a beautiful shop located in Zanesville, Ohio she also has a shop located in Marietta, Ohio

There are loads more including my own website. I have a sale going on right now. Check it out. Just check Pinterest and your Facebook page, many small businesses in your local area have business pages showing their products.

Now for my Sale at Sunflower Hill Market

I have a sale going on only website. Next week I'll open it to the general public.

Boutique earrings, throws, carrier bags, decoupage papers and more.


Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows!

35 views2 comments


Sharon Thomas
Sharon Thomas
Dec 07, 2023

Come to our house and bring a friend or more For Thanksgiving!


Sharon Thomas
Sharon Thomas
Dec 07, 2023

Wish you could come to our house for Thanksgiving! We have plenty of room and you could bring a family of friends with you!

bottom of page