I'm divorced and won't be spending Thanksgiving with my kids. We are celebrating early with food they love.
- I'm divorced, and I have my kids for Thanksgiving only in even years.
- Though we'll celebrate a week early this year, I plan to make it special.
So this year, I'm celebrating with my kids a week before Thanksgiving Day and I'm planning to make it special.
It's hard not seeing my kids for holidays, but I try to focus on what I can do
Being separated from my kids brings on longing, anxiety, and deep sadness. This time of year exhausts me with grief for when making plans was simpler.
I try to focus on positive thoughts and on making our Thanksgiving meal as yummy as possible.
My kids, who are 11 and 8 years old, notice the differences at their parents' homes during the holidays. While there may be more people at the other parents' holiday events, I customize holiday meals to my kids' tastes and they can be themselves at my table.
I've learned to depend on myself to keep traditions going. No matter which parent's year it is, I don't want my kids to miss out on holiday treats and celebrations.
I'm planning a Thanksgiving menu with foods my kids enjoy
I don't cook big meals and have never shined in the kitchen. Our Thanksgiving dinner will probably last less than 20 minutes — but it'll include foods I know my kids will eat and enjoy.
Buying special holiday-themed dinnerware has been on the back burner while rebuilding my life and home after divorce because I can't afford it.
That said, I'll make a small antipasto platter on a new decorative dish with autumn leaves and the word "thankful" in the center. I imagine my son reaching for cucumbers, pickles, some chips, and guacamole. I'm sure my daughter will want some grapes and strawberries on her plate next to her pasta, as she did last year.
This year, the dessert will be store-bought Italian cookies and ice cream. I won't dwell on making a pie, though maybe I'll try to make one next year.
Our feast may look slightly different without stuffing, squash, corn, green beans, and pumpkin pie, but for me, carving out time together to celebrate — even briefly — is what matters.
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