As Thanksgiving is upon us, I must confess I’m usually in a full-blown snit by now. The snit usually sneaks up on me about the time the refrigerator is too full and something really important to the meal falls out, or I happen to glance at the TV  and some media personality tells me that I’m  already behind on my Christmas shopping.

There will be tears and over the counter medications.

I’m not only a Daughter of the Texas Revolution, I’m also a Daughter of the American Revolution. My people invented Thanksgiving. Yet, last year, despite my bloodline, the turkey came out gray and crumpled. It looked like had been dropped on the floor and in need of surgery. Of course, it was the funniest darn thing you ever saw, except that people were hungry and I was exhausted. Tired and hungry. TUNGRY.

So, this is why your spiritual master, call me Yoda, has written a mini guide for Thanksgiving called, Stuff This: A Guide to Holidays with Stuffings.  It’s a tried and true method for actually finding some of the good stuff (besides the desserts).

The guide is simple. It is a mixture of English folklore and Star Wars. It goes: something old, something new, borrow a lot of stuff (don’t hesitate) and find the light, be the light, make the light.

SOMETHING OLD:

There will be an attempt at a turkey, even though we are vegetarian/vegan most of the year. It makes no sense, really, but some of the really great “psychological stretches” are about accepting mixed ideologies and finding gratitude for the fact that we are all still here and have something about which to argue.

There will be football blaring in the background because we’re Texan, duh. There will be long-distance phone calls to discuss the football games and football pools.

There will be a green Jell-o something with pecans in it, which my grandmother used to love. We will buy our requisite can of fruit cocktail to pour in as well. I will feel happy and sad to make it.

There will be a can of cranberry “sauce” at the table, which will still be shaped like the can itself, and Cool Whip in a tub,  for one special family that doesn’t like real whipped cream.

I will personally stand in the Hallmark Store for waaayy too long pulling all the strings on the musical Xmas ornaments while getting just the right Yankee Candles to burn.

SOMETHING NEW:

There will be lots of new that will be incorporated with the old stuff we do. We will play video games on the Wii and I will lose every one of them.

There will be new faces, new places and new stories of adventures to hear around the table. New stains on the rug, too.

There will be vegan recipes and hummus. My husband will then proceed to make jokes that he thinks are funny, like “Bah Hummusbug,” because he thinks hummus is gross. There will be a fantastic new spinach artichoke dip that my daughter found on the Food Wishes blog. I’m truly excited about this!!

BORROW EVERYTHING YOU CAN:

When people say, “Can I bring something?” I will always say YES! I ask everyone participating to bring not only some food and beverages, but furniture and bedding, too.

Hint: Try to return everything you can before they walk out the door. I am a terrible returner. I am working on it.

Have someone bring cheese pizza in case the day implodes. It saves well, and kids who won’t eat anything else will find this comforting.

FIND THE LIGHT, MAKE THE LIGHT, BE THE LIGHT (the secret sauce to a spectacular holiday):

We must match the intensity of our lifestyle with equal parts laughter and fun.

We can be passionate and intense, but we must balance it with equal parts light. This is the recipe. When you find yourself too intense over your stuffing, you must employ the #stuffthiswithlight attitude. Remember, what is the tragedy of today will be the best stories next Thanksgiving.

Choosing to laugh and have fun in challenging moments is very likely the highest form of spiritual submission. We know it’s not easy, we’re on the internet—we see the news. The harder it is, the more important it is to find it.

It is not because we ignore the problems of our world and our families, it is because we see them and choose light as if to do it for all that need it and cannot find it. We become the Who’s in The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. We refuse to let anything take our light. We are going to do and be and laugh because life is precious and fleeting.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE!

Namaste,

Dana