Monday’s Double Shot: Thanksgiving Travel & Traditions

This is it. This is the big week where you start the race of the holiday season.

This year is lasts for a mere 36 days. That is just over 5 weeks of shopping, eating, baking, giving, singing, decorating, traveling, family gatherings, eating, holiday parties, work gift exchanges….oh and more eating. I must say this is one of my favorite times of the year.

Today is the starting line and as in many of life’s races, this is not a sprint but a marathon.

We will all need to pace ourselves to have the stamina and energy to get across the finish line and watch the Rose Bowl Parade on January 1st.

Today I want to focus on two topics to give you a turbo charge for the holiday season: (1) Holiday Travel and (2) Thanksgiving Traditions

Who Among Us Likes Holiday Travel?

I certainly don’t.

During my 17 years (so far) of marriage, we usually make at least 2 family trips during this time of year. I must say that something unexpected always seems to happen to us. There are the crowds, the inevitable delays and the lost luggage. But after flying over 2 million miles, I have developed a few tricks to make holiday travel sane and manageable. Here are my favorites. I hope they are of help to you. Please comment and give us your tips as well. The more tips and ideas, the better prepared we can all be.
1. Plan for Double Time – When I am getting ready for a trip I always assume it will take me twice as long to get where I am going so I prepared. This has really come in handy because it forces me to think about things like bringing with me extra food, buying extra water after security check point to bring on the plane, and having all of my electronic devices fully charged. If you do nothing else but this tip, you are already doing a lot.
2. Fly By Security – Lines in security especially with infrequent flyers can be long and frustrating. Make sure you do what you can to get through the line quickly. I like to wear (and have everyone in the family) wear slip on shoes. I keep my liquids Ziploc in a handy side pouch. And this time of year, do not bring wrapped packages. They will most likely be opened.
3. New Policies – Spend a few minutes on before you depart. They will give you the latest information on all of the new rules. For example, you now want to make sure your airline tickets and ID both match exactly to avoid additional security screenings.
4. Travel Light – While this might now seem realistic, you should try everything in your power to just do carry-ons when you travel. It saves on lost luggage hassles and keeps you in check with how much stuff you ‘really’ need to pack. One thing you can do is to get space bags for packing which help shrink down the size of garments (e.g. especially bulky winter items).
5. Be On Alert – Finally, make sure to sign up for automatic email or phone alerts for your flights so you are first to know if there are any delays or issues.

Start A Thanksgiving Tradition This Week

When I was growing up, we had a tradition where each year before starting Thanksgiving dinner we went around the table and each spoke into a tape recorder about what we were thankful for.

It was something we all knew was coming and enjoyed doing. That was over 20 years ago and no one really thought much about those tapes until last year when we went to move my mom out of the house we grew up in and into an assisted living facility. It was then we found all of those tapes (which we have now had transferred to CD). WOW! To hear my dad talking (he passed away 15 years ago) and hear the adorable voices of my tiny little identical twin nieces (now 34 years old) was absolutely priceless. I didn’t know it then but we were creating memories that span the generations.

As each of you sit down this year for Thanksgiving dinner, think about what things you can do to keep the traditions of family, gratefulness and sharing alive and living long after the final leftover turkey sandwich has been eaten.

Here are some of the things we are thinking about doing this year. Please let me know what other ideas you have to add to the list.
1. Photo Book On Being Thankful – Use a camera and get pictures of everyone coming to Thanksgiving and then jot down what they are thankful for. Take that and make a photo book online (Apple, Shutterfly or Kodak Gallery) and give them out (maybe as your holiday gift). Think of it….after a few years you will have a whole set of these chronicling the family as everyone grows u.
2. Thankful Notes – We have a great download on our site for thankful notes that give you a great free notes to capture what everyone in the family is thankful for. Make a game of it by putting all of the filled out notes in a bowl and having someone read them all and try to guess who was thankful for what.
3. Give Back – Trade off some football or a few side dishes this year so you have a few hours to all go together to a shelter or food bank and help with Thanksgiving dinner for others. Giving back is a great way to remember how lucky you are and a memory that lasts forever. This is especially great to do with kids over the age of 5 or 6.

So there you have the Monday double shot and while it might not wake you up as much as your Macchiato at The Coffee Bean, it might just give you some ideas for easy ways to get organized this week.

Let us know what other ideas you want to hear from us about.

A few dates to remember for the week:
Tuesday – Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day
Friday – Your Welcomegiving Day
And of course, Thursday is Thanksgiving and Friday is Black Friday.