Olha Afanasieva/ShutterstockCarbs have gotten a bad rap lately but thanks to bread, stuffing, mashed potatoes, yams, and pie, Thanksgiving is basically the High Carb Holiday. So take one day off of worrying about your waistline to be thankful for yummy and energizing carbs. And you don't have to chuck health totally out the window. Try these 11 Thanksgiving classics made with healthy whole foods.
Monkey Business Images/ShutterstockFamily during the holidays can be a lot of extra work and stress, as anyone who's ever had to serve a dry turkey to a critical in-law knows. Yet they can also be a huge blessing. After all, what's Thanksgiving dinner without Uncle Bill's "magic" tricks or your mom's signature pie? So even when they're annoying, try to focus on all the things you love about your beautiful, wacky, funny, a little bit crazy but always loving clan. In the meantime, here are some family jokes to lighten the mood.
Thanksgiving stand-up comedy
Africa Studio/ShutterstockIf you just can't take another minute of holiday cheer, find solace in the collective misery of everyone else by watching some of the brilliant (and free!) comedy routines poking fun at food, family, and the traditions we love to hate. Start with Jim Gaffigan's take on Thanksgiving—"Thank goodness we have a holiday set aside for being grateful, we'd sure hate to have to do that every day!"—and work your way through YouTube's endless holiday comedy library.
Crunchy, colorful, fragrant piles of leaves
mahey/ShutterstockIs there anything that says "fall" more than the changing foliage? The vibrant colors, the satisfying crunch underfoot, and the woodsy smell combine to delight all your senses. Plus, let's be honest, there's a much less fancy reason to love leaves: giant piles to jump in! Check out these stunning fall scenes across the country.
Sushitsky Sergey/ShutterstockWhether it's the soulful eyes of your pup (begging for turkey) or the tiny pink nose of your kitty (also begging for turkey, but in a much more sophisticated way than Fido), Thanksgiving is the perfect time to shower a little extra love on the critters who love you the most. Another reason to be thankful? The many health benefits of owning a pet.
mythja/ShutterstockApples may be available in stores all year long, but there's something special about fall apples with their fresh, crisp bite and tangy sweet juice. No wonder so many favorite Thanksgiving recipes rely on apples! Bonus points for going to an orchard and picking your own, allowing you to be grateful for the trees, soil, sun, and farmers who do all the hard work for us.
That holiday helping spirit
Pressmaster/ShutterstockThe "holiday spirit" is a real thing, inspiring people to reach out to others throughout November and December. We promise you: There's nothing that will make you more grateful for what you have than sharing some of it with someone who has less. Take the opportunity this Thanksgiving to invite a lonely senior, a recent refugee, or a new neighbor over to enjoy your turkey. Or try one of these 9 creative ways to volunteer and really make a difference.
New pumpkin recipes
Joshua Resnick/ShutterstockFrom sweet treats to savory soups and everything in between, pumpkins are a remarkably versatile veggie! Show your gratitude for the orange squash by whipping up a classic pumpkin pie or try something new, like pumpkin pickles. To start, try these 20 mouthwatering pumpkin recipes.
Arina P Habich/ShutterstockFlowers are generally thought of as a spring and summer treat, but there are a few hardy blooms that will continue to brighten your home and your spirit as the days get colder. Mums are a perennial (get it?) Thanksgiving favorite. Buy a pot for yourself or bring one as a hostess gift. Here are more elegant gifts for your host.
Dean Drobot/ShutterstockThanksgiving can be a depressing time, especially if your life isn't going quite like you'd hoped. But instead of despairing about your circumstances, take a few minutes and read an advice column. At the very least, reading about other people's problems will make you more grateful for your own. You might be unemployed or single, but at least you're not working for the ex you cruelly ghosted or in love with your twin, right?