Our tastes have changed, and our lives are more hectic. So, what’s a Diva to do?

I’ve decided to create a new family Thanksgiving tradition with a schedule and menu that fits our lifestyle — and you can, too.

I’m starting to look at specific dates for holidays as suggestions, not the rule. It’s unbelievable how that simple decision has freed me from stress and allowed me to relax and enjoy the holidays with the people that I love most.

First, we’re no longer celebrating our family Thanksgiving on Thursday. It’s too difficult and stressful to get our large, multigenerational family together at the same time on Thanksgiving Day.

In order to make everyone happy, some family members were traveling from one city to another to eat multiple Thanksgiving dinners at various times.

It’s hard to be thankful if you’re bloated and stressed out from fighting traffic all day. To resolve this problem, we’ll have individual Thanksgiving dinners and then gather on another day for our family celebration.

Second, it’s easier for our family to get together on Sunday afternoons, so that’s the day we’re celebrating Thanksgiving as a group from now on. We’ve also decided to celebrate my birthday and my mother’s birthday on that Sunday, since they both fall a few days before Thanksgiving.

Third, we’re trying a new menu this year. As we’ve gotten older, our health issues and dietary preferences range from gluten-free to diabetic to vegetarian.

So, move over green bean casserole with mushroom soup and canned fried onions. Goodbye sweet potatoes with toasted marshmallows. There’s a new list of modern, flavorful dishes waiting in line to become the go-to side dishes for our non-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving.

And last, but not least, some Thanksgiving traditions will never change, no matter how untraditional our Thanksgiving holidays will be in years to come. We’ll still stand in a family circle, join hands and thank the Lord for each other and all our blessings.

My daughter gives everyone a thank-you card with a handwritten note that I treasure each year. My oldest sister will bring the corn dish that everyone loves and that we only get during the holidays. And I’ll make a diabetic-friendly, gluten-free sweet potato cheesecake that will become a new holiday tradition that we can all enjoy!

So, Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and try something new this year, like this delicious recipe for sweet potato cheesecake.

Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian and the author of seven cookbooks. Her website is www. divapro.com. © 2019 King Features Synd., Inc.


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