Thanksgiving Traditions

Every year since we all turned 21 except last year, two of my best friends from my hometown and myself have gone out the night before Thanksgiving. Last year there was a snow storm the night before Thanksgiving. Yep, turkey trot 5K in the snow, that’s happened a few years. There were a few particularly rowdy Thanksgiving eves where I just couldn’t the next morning, but most years, I do a road race on Thanksgiving morning. Oh and then there was that year that I really shouldn’t have run, but I did anyway, and I tripped and wiped out and like, 10 people came over to help me…..

I am so fortunate that every year of my life, I have had an amazing Thanksgiving dinner, sometimes two depending on family and boyfriends!! Every year that I have been a teacher, we get an email the Monday before Thanksgiving reminding all of us that for our students, the holidays is often sad and very hard on them. They will not all have a warm and fuzzy Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. For some students at our school, the breakfast/lunch program are their only guaranteed meals. We as teachers excitedly ask our students what they are up to for the holidays, and while many return our enthusiasm with plans at their aunts, or grandparents, or even neighbors, a few always pointedly look away, not wanting to meet our expectant gaze. It’s always a good time to remember that even without the turkey, all the food, the decorations, spending time with friends and family is a thank worthy & thankful occasion. If my Thanksgiving meal was mac and cheese with old Pabst Blue Ribbon pounders, as long as my friends and family could come, we would all still laugh and love and enjoy our mac and cheese.

It’s easy at this time of year when the internet and your social media are showering you with the top 10 Thanksgiving apps, NYC chefs top Thanksgiving desserts, decorate for Thanksgiving like a pro, 5 tips for setting your Thanksgiving table, and so on to forget what we are all getting together for.

This year I am thankful for my amazing fiancé Jon, my happy and healthy parents, my sister Brenda, and my four pawed best friend Mizpah. I am also thankful for my great friend group from home, college, work, and the barn and of course all the talented & patient horses in my life. I am thankful to be a woman in America, able to write here and feel safe thanks to our service men and women.

I hope you all have lovely Thanksgivings, and enjoy your traditions whatever they might be. Who’s going to #optoutside on Friday with me and the employees at REI!? Haven’t heard of the #optoutside campaign? Check out my post on it here.

Happy Thanksgiving!

c/o Mon

REI’s Opt Outside Campaign

I think it was Monday night that I got the email from REI that they were closing on black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. REI is a coop company where once you join the coop, any purchases get chronicled, and you get money back each year on your purchases. I have gotten camping & hiking stuff at REI in the past. Black Friday has become a day of American consumerism like nothing else. The time for stores to open has pushed all the way to basically after dinner on Thanksgiving Thursday. The first year I headed up to NH to be with my fiancé’s family after Thanksgiving lunch with my family, there was traffic. I was shocked, how could there be traffic going through his town? It was because of the Walmart. I was driving to get to dessert with those I love, and got stuck in traffic with people going to get the best deal on a new flatscreen.

REI’s campaign asks us to go outside on Friday after Thanksgiving- get out of the stores, get off our computers, and do something outside. They created the hashtag “opt outside” for all of us to showcase our non consumer driven activities. Its fine with me because we were already planning to hike in NH. I still have to do the Tripyramids, Hancocks, and Cabot this fall/winter.

Will REI reach a new group of people to be customers? I don’t know, its a pretty specific audience that goes to REI. Maybe the campaign will inspire people to go buy new outdoorsy items for their #optoutside adventures. Maybe REI will even toss us some sales beforehand to help us get outfitted for the day. Will other companies join REI in closing on Black Friday? I don’t know. Think about everyone being able to spend all of Thursday & all of Friday with their families. REI’s 143 stores will be closed on that Friday and every employee will get paid to go do something outside! Can someone start paying me to play outside?! Here are the little YouTube videos they have created for the #optoutside campaign:

Opting outside will cost me gas money, and maybe a parking fee depending on which mountain we go to. Sooooo much cheaper than whatever I would ever buy on black Friday. Go outside more, spend less.

c/o Mon