Holidays with Friends & Family: Blessed or Stressed?


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Hi Friends!  Wow just two days until Thanksgiving!  So much to do and accomplish before then.  I probably won’t do any of the cooking I plan to do for the meal until that morning.  I am working every day up to the holiday, and have other irons in the fire I’m juggling too, so no time to “pre-cook” some things, even though that would be nice.  Oh well.

I’ve been working on a few cooking projects in the meantime, though.  I made a fresh batch of Savory Pumpkin, Potato, & Carrot Soup 

Only takes about an hour on the stovetop from start to finish and makes enough to feed many people, many meals.  Chop the items up, dump it all in a pot, bring to a boil and then simmer slightly covered for an hour or so.   You’re done!

Savory Pumpkin, Potato, & Carrot Soup in pot

Four Bowls of Savory Pumpkin, Potato, & Carrot Soup
Close up of of Savory Pumpkin, Potato, & Carrot Soup in white bowl

And I’ve been enjoying some nice green bowls.  This one was an Edamame Salad with Romaine, Tomatoes, Cukes

Edamame Salad
Dressed With Homemade Vegan Slaw Dressing
Jar of Vegan Slaw Dressing with ingredients in background
Edamame Salad with Vegan Slaw Dressing
Love this Combo!  Its a Groove, not a rut!  
If you need other Vegan Protein Ideas,  Click Here
VeganMofo Vegan Month of Food logo
Click Here to Read More about Vegan Mofo

From yesterday’s post about Living with Gratitude, thank you for sharing all that you’re grateful for.   It was really touching to read everyone’s heartfelt comments.

And I’m glad my thoughts about keeping life in perspective resonated with you, including how I think that living with a sense of gratitude helps facilitate perspective in life, as a whole.  It was nice to read that you do try to keep things in perspective and not sweat the small stuff.

Dessert:  No Bake Vegan Rum Cake Balls
For the holidays, it’s always fun to get your relatives and family members tipsy.  Well, it makes things more interesting, no doubt…haha!  These balls are based on my Caribbean Rum Cake experience and are fast and easy to make.  How can you go wrong with these ingredients?

Jar of Pumpkin Pie Spice
Bottle of Pure Bourbon Vanilla Extract
Meyers's Rum Bottle


Overhead of No Bake Vegan Rum Cake Balls in clear container
Try not to get drunk.  Or, maybe that would be ok.
No Bake Vegan Rum Cake Balls
Close up of No Bake Vegan Rum Cake Balls

1. If you’re cooking for Thanksgiving, will you be doing any cooking or prep work the day(s) before?  If so, what?  
Since I am just cooking for Scott, Skylar and I and not tons of guests, it’s manageable to just do all the cooking on the actual day of Thanksgiving.  However, if I was cooking for a bigger group, I’d want to pre-chop anything that I could, make desserts ahead of time, just do whatever I could to get ahead of the game.

2. Do you feel that the holidays with your family members are blessed or stressed?  Or both?

I read this passage in an email I received and thought the message was nice:

“Blessings.  Sure, we all have the relatives we’d rather not visit with but every person we are connected to brings a blessing.  No matter how challenging our relationship to them, they are blessing us by teaching us valuable lessons of patience, kindness, and tolerance.  Appreciate each and every person for the blessings they bestow and, in turn, bless the planet for supporting our endeavors.  Viewing each challenge as an opportunity and each person as a blessing, will bring oodles of gratitude to your season and to your life!”

However, let’s face facts:  It can be hard and stressful to be with friends, acquaintances, or family members who don’t share your perspectives and views on everything from lifestyle choices to food choices to having 20 years of history butting heads with each other about the same issues.  Nothing has changed when you sit down for a meal together, and likely, nothing ever will on some issues.  And certainly not at the dinner table.  And breaking bread with these folks isn’t always easy; and in fact, it can be very stressful.

Of course it’s a blessing to be with friends and family and enjoy the day together, the holiday season, and just give thanks for everything we have.

For me, staying on neutral subjects, not trying to solve the world’s problems, and just staying present and in the moment helps keep things light, fun, and not stressful.

Are Holidays a Blessing or Stressing for you?

3. If spending the holidays with family members is more along the stressed than the blessed vibe for you, what specifically is stressful?  What is the bone that keeps getting picked? 
I’ve always marched to my own beat so I may seem a little “out there” to some but my extended family members always respected that, which is a huge blessing.

In years past when I was living nearby my family and relatives, them not understanding why I made certain food choices was a little challenging but not a huge problem.

The “just one bite won’t hurt you” mentality can be in full force when dining in groups.  Actually, one bite of gluten does send me into agony for days.  So I’d just rather not. 

However I have some tips, thoughts, and opinions that may be helpful in these posts:

For tips on making your own choices and sticking by them, see This Post

For my thoughts on making choices that aren’t mainstream or popular, see This Post

For tips on Saying No Thank You to foods you don’t want to eat for whatever reason or dietary path, see This Post

For tips on Saying No Thank You to things in general that you’re not wanting to partake in, including foods, see This Post

I hope you all have a relaxing, wonderful and blessed Holiday Week & Season!

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.