Thanksgiving is a fantastic holiday. I enjoy the time with family that does not yet involve the stress and “stuff” focus of gift giving. I appreciate how we take time to give God thanks for our many blessings. I love the food! (Pumpkin pie with extra whipped cream, anyone?)

But let’s face it, as the hostess, the holiday is not without STRESS. Getting together with family is not without drama. There is the challenge of putting together a meal for a crowd, if that is your task.

If this year is a tough time emotionally for you, the holiday season may not be something you look forward to.

For those of us who parent children with special needs, the extra changes a holiday brings can shift them into all kinds of crazy behaviors.

Here are some ideas, recipes, and resources to help the holiday go a bit more smoothly this year.

Thanksgiving ideas

15 Outstanding Ideas for the Best Thanksgiving Ever

Last year our family set out to switch over to a more whole foods, clean eating food plan. Here is a post about how we did that, including a free printable with a food list and meal ideas.

When Thanksgiving came up, we debated if we should chuck the whole healthy eating idea for the holiday, or try for a Clean Eating Thanksgiving? We decided to try a (Mostly) Clean Eating Thanksgiving. The post includes our menu, recipes and photos.


Our First (Mostly) Clean Eating Thanksgiving

This is a craft even the most non-crafty person can do! Start with a new tablecloth. Each year, family members write something they are thankful for from that year. The tablecloth becomes a wonderful keepsake. Read full details about the Thanksgiving Tablecloth Tradition here.

Thanksgiving Tablecloth

Our resident Paleo chef, Jen Pedri, has given us some fabulous recipes that work perfectly for Thanksgiving. Here are some of my personal favorites:

Jen Pedri

Our guest Paleo chef, now a new mom, Jen Pedri

stuffing eggs benedict

Homemade Paleo Mayo

Roasted Lemon Garlic Asparagus

Primal Mac & Cheese

Garlic Sweet Potato Greens Mash

For our family, a holiday gathering just isn’t truly a holiday without this classic: Raspberry Jello Salad

Raspberry Jello Salad

The holidays are great — except when they aren’t. For many people, depression, anxiety, and sadness make the holiday season an incredibly difficult time of year.

The Holiday Hope Toolbox is currently FREE! This beautiful 18 page printable workbook has proven methods to increase motivation and productivity, improve mood, and strengthen faith.

Click here to receive your copy of The Holiday Hope Toolbox. (Includes email sign up. No spam, ever. We take your privacy seriously.)

The Holiday Hope Toolbox

If you have not made this Chef Bekah pie recipe yet, you simply must include it in your Thanksgiving line up. It’s ridiculously rich, ridiculously easy, and just so good. Make it. You will not regret it. You’re welcome.

If you have a crowd to feed and are looking for something different to try, check out these shot glass mini-servings ideas. This link includes all the recipes, tips and tricks we used for the ultimate shot glass mini-servings party. Some of the appetizers might work especially well for Thanksgiving, and pin it for upcoming Christmas parties, too.

How to Host a Shot Glass Mini-Servings Party Like a Pro

If you’re looking for something super cute to wear, check out these Womens Holiday Aprons and Children’s Aprons from Flirty Aprons. They are adorable!

Now that we’ve all eaten ourselves silly, it’s time to think about burning off some of those holiday calories. Don’t give in to the temptation to eat like crazy between now and New Years! It’s not worth it. (Been there, got the plus sized jeans.)

Check out these posts for ideas:

My Family Hates Exercise — I admit it. My family tends toward more indoor activities. Here’s how we get ourselves up and out the door.

Grace for the Now: The 5 Stages of Change — Did you know there are 5 stages of change? Find out which stage of change you are currently in, and how to move to the next one.

Create a Healthy Holiday You — How to get through the holiday season in a healthy, realistic way.

Thanksgiving ideas

There you go — 15 outstanding ideas for the best Thanksgiving ever. What makes Thanksgiving special for your family?15 Outstanding Ideas for the Best Thanksgiving Ever