Thanksgiving is a time to feast with loved ones. It's a time to cook a big turkey and dress the table with stuffing, cranberries, and fresh baked rolls. It's a time to turn on the television, unbutton your jeans and watch the big game! It's a time to break out all of the black Friday newspaper ads and plan your big shopping expedition. There are a plethora of things we think about when we think of Thanksgiving but are these things that we truly look forward to doing or do we really do them out of tradition? Sometimes it's nice to make new memories and start new traditions. What better time to start something new than with the dawn of a holiday or New Year?

Thought One: Celebrate Thanksgiving with the Homeless. You can see your family any old time, but when the holidays roll around, those who have lost their homes or families really appreciate seeing someone who cares. Why not take a moment to find your local soup kitchen or homeless shelter? In most cases, they always are looking for volunteers during the holidays. They will set something up with you to provide food, services, or entertainment for the people they service in the community. Believe me; you walk away from this Thanksgiving with a full sense of worth and accomplishment rather than a belly full of turkey.

Thought Two: Celebrate Thanksgiving by Celebrating Your Heritage. Rather than cooking up the same old bird, why not celebrate your or your spouse's roots by re-creating a traditional ethnic meal? Other parts of the world celebrate feasts with foods you may not eat on a regular basis. For example, my mother-in-law would prepare a feast of the seven fishes for Christmas Eve dinner in her Italian household. It's good to become more 'well-rounded' so to speak, so eat up!

Thought Three: Celebrate Thanksgiving in a Foreign Country. If you can afford it, why not travel out of the country on Thanksgiving? What a wild way to make some new holiday memories! Many parts of the world will not be celebrating the same things at the same time so you may have an opportunity to explore some new traditions and customs to take home with you. Your family could create a holiday scrapbook with memories, pictures and mementos from all of your holiday travels.

If you choose to kick it up a notch this Thanksgiving, that would be awesome and I would love to hear about your adventures so go ahead and make a holiday blog! If you decide to give in to your families guilt trips about not being there and end up on the couch with your pants unbuttoned and a turkey drumstick in your hand, better luck next year!