Unless you consider heated arguments and empty Budweiser cans a Thanksgiving Day tradition, I wouldn’t say that I’ve experienced much of it at my house growing up. Not that I didn’t look forward to mom’s delicious dinner every year and seeing my relatives, but it’s probably why I’ve tried to lay down some new, positive roots for our family, and especially for our daughter.

Run before we feast I’m lucky to have a thriving annual Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot that’s close by. As a wannabe future marathoner, this is awesome. I could get a run in, experience a sense of community (isn’t that the point of this holiday?), and fire up my metabolism for a promising day of overeating. The best part, my husband comes out with me! What? This is the guy who loves sleeping in when it isn’t a work day … and he hates running. He’s the best.

This year, and every year, I plan on running with my daughter and my husband by my side during the annual Turkey Trot. I’ll be pushing a stroller, and the hubby will probably take walk breaks, but I’m not looking to finish this race for time. I just want the people I cherish most in this world to be together as we do something good for our bodies. After all, we should all be thankful for our health.

Slim it down No, I’m not going to scare the fam away with tofurky, but I am very mindful of the quality of food we stuff into our faces. I know from experience that filling up all day on rich, fatty foods and booze can set me up for a month-long sugar-crazed bender. I don’t want it, and I want to do my family a favor and save them the trouble, too.

A roasted turkey, baked sweet potatoes, homemade cranberry sauce, string beans sautéed in garlic, mashed potatoes, and a cherry pie — OK and maybe mom’s stuffing (I can’t live without it!) — is a decent meal that won’t rack up too many calories but won’t piss anyone off either.

Maybe we can run around the yard after dinner or take walk. Yay, new traditions!

Keep it simple and positive I’m tired of allowing the holidays to be an excuse for me to overindulge, stress out and shop for crap I don’t need. (Yes, I usually give in to my urges and buy myself things as I do my Christmas shopping!)

This year I am diving into Thanksgiving Day planning with a simple, positive mindset. Stress is so often associated with the holidays. What are we stressing about? Perfection? The perfect meal? The perfect gifts? No one is perfect, why would we think our family is? It shouldn’t whether matter whether we can afford to buy fancy dishes or expensive gifts. I just want my family to come together and enjoy each other’s company. Everything else is secondary.