Thanksgiving Scrooge

So here we are: it’s the Monday before Thanksgiving….and I was supposed to be getting on a flight home to see my family this morning. And — I’m sure, like many of you — I canceled my Thanksgiving plans. Instead, here I am: smack dab where I’ve been for the entirety of this conflabbit pandemic: solo in my studio apartment in New York.

So to honest…the thought of crafting something inspiring or brimming with bubbles of gratitude for tonight’s post…it just felt kinda phony and flat. Because frankly, I’m pretty pissed this virus is preventing my family from being together over Thanksgiving.

I was at the grocery this afternoon, and all the end caps had the makings for all the Thanksgiving mainstays…the pumpkin pie filling; the yams and marshmallows; the green beans, french fried onions, and cream of mushroom soup; the stuffing and gravy; the cranberry sauce…every aisle — you couldn’t escape it. Thanksgiving had thrownup on Shoprite. The cornucopias, the gourds, the autumnal candles — it felt like they were there just to spite me — mocking me. And as I literally began to feel hot under the collar, I realized that I was turning into a bonafide Thanksgiving Scrooge.

And I’d be willing to bet a hot fudge sundae that I’m not alone in feeling that way. Probably 80% of the people in my life have either canceled or significantly altered their Thanksgiving plans to adhere to the threats of the coronavirus. So to say that there’s a lot of bitterness and mixed emotion around this holiday that’s supposed to be overflowing with gratitude and thankfulness…seems rather appropriate for 2020.

Walking home, the cold air helped me reel in the emotion a bit. Sometimes, I can let my proclivity for the drrrramatic arts (*spoken with a Shakespearean accent*) get the best of me, so I decided to take a step back from myself, and I asked God to just be with me in that moment.

Here’s the thing…yes, it royally stinks that we’ve all had to turn our lives upside down because of this virus no one asked for, and frankly no one did anything to deserve. But I realized that all day — ever since I woke up and was reminded that I wasn’t getting on that flight home — I had been focusing on all of the negative things. I had been living from a scarcity mindset. I was not only choosing to see life as “half-empty,” but actually looking for things that affirmed my Negative Nancy attitude.

When, you know what? There are actually a lot of really great opportunities that have come about because I’m going to be in New York over Thanksgiving.

For starters — and the thing that I’m absolutely ecstatic about — is that I’ll be spending Thanksgiving with my boyfriend’s family! As you know, this special gentleman came home to Ohio with me back in October to meet my family, and we had such a blast. And now – I’ll be able to meet his! I can’t wait to meet the people who are so important to him, and helped shape him into the man he is today. So I am absolutely thrilled and very thankful that they’ve invited me into their home to share such a special day.

That’s a huge blessing and an opportunity that I am so grateful for.

Being local for Thanksgiving also allows me to spend it with my friends, who are also “stranded” here after canceling their Thanksgiving plans. Having a *very small* Friendsgiving with my quarantine “pod” is something that I’m really looking forward to, as well.

Friends are such a blessing, and sometimes, I think I take for granted these special relationships. But the truth of the matter is, my life is rich with love because of the “chosen family” of friends I have in New York City.

And also – being local over Thanksgiving allows me to help my special gentleman move apartments! Granted I’ll probably be doing more cheerleading than actual heavy lifting, the fact is, it’s nice to be there for the “big moments” in the lives of the people you care about. This fella is at the top of my “gratitude list” (oh my gosh, I promised myself I wouldn’t do this….hahah), but truly, my heart has never been so full, and he brings so much joy to my life. So gush-fest over, but let’s just say, I’m glad to be spending Thanksgiving with him.


I guess my Scrooge episode this morning/afternoon is officially over. Thank goodness. Feeling negative is exhausting!

The great news is that I’ll be going home super early (read: mid December) to spend most of the month with my family. And that is something I am also so grateful for. That, and having the ability to work from anywhere — that’s a gift in and of itself. And my health. And my family’s health. And the food on the Thanksgiving table. And the roof over the table, and….oh boy…I’ll quit now before I really get rolling.

So. If perhaps, you’re feeling a little down-in-the-dumps that your own Thanksgiving plans have shifted, know that, you are not alone. And I honestly, it really helped me to — I know it sounds so exhaustively cliche — shift my focus away from the negativity, and instead focus on the blessings I have to be thankful for, during this unprecedented Thanksgiving.

It completely turned my day around, and I hope it does for you too.

Whatever you plans, I hope that you and your loved ones have a very special, very beautiful and joyful Thanksgiving. Know that you are in my prayers, as I am grateful for you, stopping by my dusty little corner of the Internet. You are a blessing to me.

See you Wednesday for a yummy recipe, and then Monday, for programming as usual! (No blog post on Thanksgiving, but I WILL be sharing lots of fun videos and photos on Instagram. – @beauty.beyond.bones) — AND PS: All advice on “meeting the parents” is welcomed with open arms! hahah

Big bear hugs and lots of love,

“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5


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80 responses to “Thanksgiving Scrooge”

  1. I’m glad you were able to turn that frown around, Caralyn!
    My wife tested positive for COVID this morning, so let’s just say I have a renewed perspective. She is a mask wearing, distance keeping, crowd avoiding person, but STILL got the virus. We are both elementary school teachers.
    Anyway, please pray for my wife (Nancy), as she is in a vulnerable age group. Her symptoms are currently not severe, but anything could happen. We are both isolating for 14 days. Blessings.

  2. I am dying to know if this special gentleman of yours is a fancy name for boyfriend. It’s okay to say boyfriend – don’t be shy! 😅 Is he the one taking those cool pics?

    As for travelling, we are not going home for Christmas this year. The last time I saw my parents was December 2019. To add insult to injury, I got a second COVID swab done today. That’s the reality of trying to finish school in a COVID-infested environment. *sigh*

      • Truthfully, I can see you marrying him one day. We share similar religious backgrounds. My husband is catholic and he was the only serious boyfriend I had (Translation: He’s the only one who got to meet my parents!) That’s a big deal meeting your boyfriend’s family and I think it’s worth celebrating! 😊

    • Hahah yes! Boyfriend it is 🙂 And he is such a talented photographer! It’s only a fun hobby for him, but he’s got a great eye!! Thanks for saying that, Hilary! – I’ll tell him 🙂 oh gosh, I am so sorry to hear that about Christmas. This virus is really pushing our “long distance familial relationships” limits. That is such a bummer. And dang – a second swab -ouch!! Hang in there, my friend. Sending you the biggest hug!!! Xoxo

    • You’re so right about that HJ! We have the choice to decide how we want to view “our cup” every day – half full of empty!! Have a happy thanksgiving too! Hugs and love xox

  3. I’m sad that you can’t get home to your family, Caralyn. I too am in the same boat on a stormy sea of virus threats. How wonderful for you though that you’ll be with your boyfriend!

    I saw a video clip on The Weather Channel a bit ago recorded at Chicago O’Hare.

    The terminal was totally swarming with people, but wearing masks. I say they need to go home. Stay safe Caralyn! We can get through this!! 🙏🏻💪🏻

    • Thanks John. Oh gosh I’m sorry you’re in the same boat. Oh yikes – yeah that’s what I was afraid of too with traveling!! Yes! We will!! And yes – I’m really thrilled about that 🙂 he’s a great man! Have a happy – albeit different – thanksgiving, my dear friend!! Hugs and love xox

    • Aw thank you friend!!! Oh yes – he’s a great man. I’m very grateful 🙂 have a lovely thanksgiving as well! Stay safe! Hugs and love xox

  4. Hello! I am so glad you have your BF’s family to spend the holiday with.
    Remember; It will not always be like this!
    I am having a give away on my IG page, @melissabishopco. Look for the image of a book cover; The holy angels by Mother Alexandra. Good luck!

    • Aw thank you so much Melissa! Yes! I’m very grateful for that too! Oh awesome! I’ll check it out! Hugs and love xox

  5. I’m super glad you’re back to your positive self midway through the post 😀 There are so many blessings indeed when we stop thinking of that one annoying thing. Happy Thanksgiving, Caralyn! I’m pretty certain you’ll have an amazing time.

  6. I know exactly what you’re describing with the negativity taking over. I had that going yesterday. For some reason, Sundays tend to be down days for me. I was better by evening, but when I start going down…

    I know I say it a lot, but here goes again: prayer. My prayer life has pretty well gone to the dogs over the last year or more. I used to keep a prayer list went through it every morning. Then I heard my pastor talk about the advantages of prayer books. Someone wrote down different prayers, finding just the right words. Praying those prayers allows one to focus on meaning instead of trying to find the right words. I got out my old prayer list, cleaned it up, ordered a prayer book, and plan to get back praying like I used to.

    Because focusing out is the best cure for depression.

    I’m very happy that you have local plans for Thanksgiving! I had this image of you all alone in your apartment staring out the window, tears running down your cheeks along with the raindrops on your window. That’s how I scripted it, anyway! Annnd…scene! But instead you’ve got plans with special people. New script: slow motion of Caralyn and friends throwing snowballs in Central Park before cutting to hot chocolates in front of a fireplace. Annnnd…

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Hey Jeff! I’m sorry that Sunday’s tend to be that… I hear ya. It can be a tough spiral to extricate from! You’re absolutely right – there is power in prayer. Prayer books – how interesting , I love the idea. I used to have a journal that I’d write prayers in. I should take it up again. I’ll join you in that renewed focus!!! You’re right – my mom always says if you ever feel down, do something kind for someone else. And you know what , it always works!! Yes! I’m thrilled to meet his family – I’ve FaceTimed with his parents and they’re so sweet! Hahah oh wow that’s quite a sad scene!! Nah – I’ll be surround by lots of joyful people and yummy Filipino food! 😁😁😁 yes!! I like the second scene much better!! I hope you and your family have a wonderful thanksgiving, Jeff. You are definitely on my list of blessings!! Hugs and love xox

      • Prayer books. The idea is the same reason I miss our church doing Matins. I still know it by heart and found so much comfort in not having to think about the words – just the meanings! You are on my prayer list too. I’m so thankful for this friendship! Hugs and love!

  7. I can totally resonate with this post Caralyn! I was feeling pretty discouraged last week about the quarantine and the fact we can’t see my husband’s family since one of his brothers has covid. But I’m choosing to be grateful. I have my husband, home, health, and plan on making a feast even if we only have a couple of guests over. And most importantly, we have Jesus, who has given us the most precious gift of salvation. 💙

    • Hi Emily! Oh I’m so sorry that you won’t be seeing his family. I’ll definitely keep his brother in my prayers!! You’re so right – we have a lot to be thankful for. And amen!!! The greatest gift of all! Hugs and love xox

  8. Well of course I’ve got to pipe up since you asked. And I get the bah humbug moment. A moment is human, but a lifestyle is well, just ugly. Glad you jumped off that hot rock. I can relate and want to chime in with my unscientific but anecdotal poo poo-ing of all the draconian measures. But that’s no help either.
    So as for the the in-law potentials (lets be real) and meeting them my advice is listen and learn. That’s also the best way to make people think you’re a sparkling conversationalist, by asking them about themselves and listening to what they answer. Hope it goes well. I’m loving the updates.

    • You’re so right about that Amy. A quick moment and then choose to see the positive and get out of the funk! Haha listen and learn – oh my
      Gosh I LOVE THAT!!! THANK YOU! I wrote that in my notes app to read before I arrive!! 🙂 have a wonderful thanksgiving! Hugs and love xox

  9. Hey, Caralyn. Pray for me! I’m going to bake my first ever pumpkin pie, AND I’m using real pumpkin, it canned stuff! Maybe will try some pumpkin muffins, pumpkin soup and some other recipes if I have enough homemade pumpkin purée left over! 🙏😂 My wife does not bake so it’ll all be in me. 😱

    • Oh my gosh that’s so fun!!! I will definitely say a prayer! The real stuff is always the best!! Excited for you! Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  10. At least you can put a bow on such a somber mood. More of a sobering one since this is what it is. I’m glad and excited that you can meet your bf family and do something fun for Thanksgiving. That’s great.

    It’s hard sometimes. But if we can think positive even with so much bad around us, that is a good healthy mindset.

    As for me, I guess it’s the usual home cooked meal with my family. I’m very appreciative for them. I wonder though about my Mom cause she has a injury she’s recovering from. It’s hard for her to walk and they are very guarded there with the masks. My last visit, I helped her and then left a bit down. I want her to get better and not be in pain. I want things to go back to normal. Yet we live in Staten Island and I’m on the orange flagged South Shore thanks to the misinformed. I don’t want my gym to close. I’ve been trying to eat healthier. We’ll see.

    Happy Thanksgiving 😊 Caralyn! You deserve the best.

  11. I hope you still have a good time at home. I can’t see all my extended family who live locally. Instead of a traditional 12 lb turkey, it will be a much smaller bird. 😉

    Recently I read a quote by Native American chief Tecumseh: ” if you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.” So apt in this season and a great reminder.

  12. Because of the virus. We have decided that we will do a viral video and have dinner so that even though we can not be together at least we can sit down via zoom and still have dinner together.

  13. As for your meeting your boyfriend’s family: Just be your beautiful self and pray and be filled with the Holy Spirit. Don’t worry his family will love you! You are a beautiful and wonderful person and they will see that right away! 🙂

  14. You two look so darn cute together. I am delighted that you’ve found a darling, compatible friend … and now you get to meet his family. I knew God had a special partner in mind for you. God bless you both! Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy!!!

  15. I’m so excited you said boyfriend 😂🤩!!!

    So happy for you and enjoy reading your journey. I’m glad you see the silver lining and are choosing joy! ❤️

  16. Caralyn,
    I’m so sorry you can’t go home for the holidays. But on another note: I’m SO HAPPY for you!! I’ve been following your blog since 2016. And I’m so happy you have so much love in your life. I am wishing you and yours the best holiday. You look so happy with him. May God continue to bless your relationship and your life. I would love a post on how you knew you were ready for a relationship, I know it has been a process letting someone in. Stay safe and Happy Thanksgiving beautiful girl 😊💛 love you! Xoxo Laura

  17. Happy Thanksgiving. Hope you can celebrate safely and keep Covid in its place. We are all doing things differently right now, not because we want to, but, because we have to. We have not been within 6 feet of another person, since March 15 and yet cases still rage, because many others take no precautions. We will pay the price for the next month as restrictions that should have been put in place a month ago are invoked. Double the pain. Just hope it is not too late for some gain. Stay well.

  18. It’s history now, but we had from December 15th, 2019 to March 6th, 2020, to stop the virus from entering the US and did nothing. That’s why we are the basket case of the world. At the opposite extreme, the PM of New Zealand looks like Superwoman, In her three years in office, she’s dealt with mass terrorism, a volcanic eruption and the virus, and had a baby. While NZ is roughly 1/8 the size of the US in population, their dead total less than 50 the last time I looked and the virus is virtually nonexistent there. Politicians matter.

  19. Yes, sometimes a simple change in mindset can change your outlook. Glad that you will celebrate Thanksgiving in a different way and that you get to go “home for the holidays.” Congrats to you!

  20. Glad you won’t be alone on Thanksgiving. That, in and of itself, is a blessing worth expressing gratitude to God for. My prayers go out to those in hospitals who are prohibited from even having visitors. Me? I’ll be hanging out with my wife and family. It’s worth the risk.

  21. It stinks that this is the state of our world right now… I am praying that things improve and we can find a sense of unity through these challenges we have been faced with (even if it is from a distance.)
    I’m so sorry that you had to change your Thanksgiving plans 🙁
    I admire you for seeing the sunny side of this situation. <3
    I hope you will have a wonderful time with your special gentleman and his family (so happy for you, girl!)
    And thank you for being you. I'm so thankful that we have been blog friends through the years!

    <3 Alana

  22. The whole thing is very confusing to everyone I think, you can’t see your family on this date but you can on this date. Im happy that all is working out for you. Heard multiply reports that a high does of Vitamin D 4000-5000 iu, can greatly help the body defend off the virus. 80% of the population are deficient. Highly recommend looking into it. 🙂

  23. Thought I’d check in my regulars (not that I have been regular recently) to see how Thanksgiving has been coming together. Thanks for being on my short-list in the cyber world (even among the several hundred “followers” of my blog, you among a handful that actually are engaged in the connection, verses the once dropped-by-please-follow-my-blog list whom I never hear from again). Enjoy your in-person pod. Enjoy your family safely this year. You have found the good that can be done in the circumstances of this year. – Oscar

  24. 1.4 million people have died and the prediction is another 1.4 million are possibly going to die in this spike, with another predicted for the new year. Preventing our loved ones from being in that statistic is the reason why we have to remain focused.
    The situation hasn’t changed from last November when the first cases of COVID were reported in China.

    2021 offers the hope of a vaccine, with improved testing results within 15 minutes of the test will make us more confident about travelling and mixing with others. The key is to look at the blessing we enjoy, working with friends on projects to bring some short term relief – we don’t need to leave our homes to make these things happen.

    A few months ago we were able to get a couple of planes of PPE in the air and delivering to countries under real pressure.

    This month we are looking at affordable distribution of the fast result test kits for South America and Africa, in five months we will set up a channel for the distribution of a vaccine to these same continents. We have gifts, we have technology, we are very close to each other even though we can’t travel and best of all we are close to the creator – draw on his guidance to cope with this isolation.

    Stay strong and have a great week – find a project that means something to you and the time will fly.

    • thank you so much for sharing this sobering information. Gosh, praying hard for our world and for the brave men and women on the front lines of the fight. Hugs and love xox

  25. Though not American, and our Thanksgiving weeks ago, I so understand your negative Nancy feels. I hope and pray that the blessing of meeting the family of your special fella blessed your heart significantly and that your upcoming extended time with your family in December more than compensates for this November loss.

    • thank you so much Carole for sharing this powerful perspective! i hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving too. You’re right – though i wasn’t with family, being with him and his family was incredibly special, and i am so grateful that I was able to have that time together. great perspective, thank you! Hugs and love xox

    • aw, that sounds like it was a lovely time together 🙂 i’m glad you had that special time with him! Hugs and love xox

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