Welcome to the OP Friendsgiving 2023

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There’s no way around it: the holidays can be tough right now. Due to the economic crisis, some far-flung families can’t afford to get together. Others can’t swing the traditional feast, and they’re dialing it back.

Other families have lost people over the years, whether to Covid or another cause, and there are heart-breakingly empty seats at the dinner table. Still others simply have nobody to share the day with for any of a number of reasons.

Last year we started a new tradition with our first online OP Friendsgiving. This community is like a family (complete with grouchy uncles and a few members who make us shake our heads with their political beliefs.)

But truly, we have such a lovely community of people here from so many different backgrounds. The conversations are enlightening and ever-interesting. Let’s “get together” here!

I realize this isn’t a substitute for truly being with the people you love, but I hope it helps the day go by a little more easily, just knowing that someone out here cares about you. We’ll be keeping this post front and center on Thanksgiving Day.

I’m going to post a bit about our Thanksgiving and a couple of recipes to get things started, and the things I’m grateful for this year. Please take a moment in the comments to do the same if you feel so moved. And let other commenters know that they’re not alone.

Here’s what we’re eating.

We’re continuing our tradition of untraditional holiday meals Here’s the menu:

  • Steak bites in garlic butter with sauteed mushrooms
  • Au jus
  • Caesar salad with bacon, Parmesan cheese, and croutons
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Roasted Brussels sprouts in honey balsamic glaze

For dessert we’re going with:

  • Chocolate cheesecake

Aden contributed a Thanksgiving poem for preppers last year.

Aden wrote the most beautiful poem that I have to share with you. As a prepper, it will really hit home. It’s called Comparison, The Thief of Joy. He’s so creative.

What I’m grateful for this year

Dealing with a longterm injury has been tough but I know I still have things really good.

I’m incredibly grateful for my family. My girls and I have such a beautiful relationship, and it’s a priceless treasure. The fact that they are adults (23 and 28) and they still want to talk to their mom nearly every day just brings a glow to my heart every time I hear the phone ring.

I’m an introvert. I have very few friends. But the ones I do have…holy cow. They’re just incredible. They’re so supportive, so loving, and so encouraging. It seems like no matter what I’m dealing with or how “crazy” my latest idea sounds, they are there with suggestions, love, and cheerleading. They even tolerate my quirky need for solitude with unrelenting affection. They’ve got my back every step of the way. Y’all know who you are!

I have the most amazing readers in the Bloggerdom. My work is such a privilege. I know everybody says this but I really never expected to be a blogger with lots of readers. The fact that I’ve gotten to know such a wonderful, supportive, and caring community through the work that I do is a gift that constantly amazes me. I’m going into my 11th year of blogging on The OP and I feel endless gratitude that you all help me do what I love every single day. I always wanted to write, and your visits to my website make that possible. How could I get any luckier than this? You guys mean the world to me.

I got to spend a big part of the year living abroad. I spent most of the past year in Europe, visiting new corners of inexpensive places and just exploring. The history of Bulgaria and Romania, with their escape from tyranny and communism, was incredibly influential in my perspective on current events.

What about you?

What’s a dish that you make every Thanksgiving without fail? Would you share the recipe with us in the comments? Is there a story behind the recipe? If so please tell us!

What are you grateful for this year? What makes your heart sing? Let’s talk about it.

And if you are struggling, tell us. Hopefully, a burden shared is a lighter burden.

That being said, we here at the OP love our readers, and we’re so glad that we can provide information and entertainment to you.

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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  • What I’m grateful for this year is selling our home in Central Florida and buying a home in North Carolina, the packing and the drive here, we are safe and happy in a small town! I am thankful for my family’s health, and for being a wise old Prepper. And most of all having a husband (Tom) who shares my crazy ideas!!! Happy Thanksgiving to All!

    • HEY there and HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you all… I also had a house in central Fl. In Kissimmee in fact just off the Fl. turnpike there on the east end going towards St. Cloud. Also left Fl. and headed for the mountains of N.C. My gosh it’s a small world. Connect if you wish… I have google chat if you wanna try that and we can see if we have anything else in common hahaha. Chat me at [email protected]. Thanks, Wandakate

  • Actually we have started a Friendsgiving tradition ourselves. The weekend before Thanksgiving we get together with friends and family and make a nontraditional meal.
    -Rib roast with a red wine gravy
    -Mashed potatoes with bacon, green onions and sharp cheddar cheese
    -Seared scallops with a parsnip puree
    -Green bean casserole
    -Apple crisp

    Next year will be all seafood.

    My dad said a few brief words.
    We all dug in and it was a lot of fun.

    Today, Thanksgiving itself, we are not going anywhere. Not sure what I will make for dinner. Got a few steaks in the fridge.
    Maybe Mexican.
    Maybe Japanese. Home made steak teriyaki, home made udon noodles sounds good.
    Got a pre-ferment that is about ready for use. Might make home made bread.

    For those of you traveling today, be safe!
    And I hope all have a good Thanksgiving!

  • Hello Everyone! This year, my family’s Thanksgiving is on Saturday so I am spending today alone getting ready for the day as well as relaxing and enjoying the quiet. I usually host Thanksgiving so I make the turkey, ham, shrimp, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and stuffing. It’s always potluck so everyone else brings sides, salads, snacky things, and dessert. For all the conventions I try to break, I have become a traditionalist with this meal.

    This year has been a huge year of change and learning to be comfortable in my skin again at age 46/47. I fought some depression over the last two years and knew I couldn’t live that way anymore. I am grateful that I could do this without medication. I got some of my relationships back on more even ground, invested in friendships that gave me the grounding I needed, rediscovered the things that bring me joy, and continued to encourage and cheer for my adult kids from afar. I am taking charge of my health with help from a friend and that has been the best.

    I am an empty nester now and that has been great. This introvert loved/loves raising her kids, but having people around constantly was sometimes a little crazy. Watching my kids be adults and experience life has been the best! We are all closer now and appreciate each other better than even a couple of years ago.

    Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! Have a wonderful day!

  • Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the OP community. Thanks to Daisy for all that she has done, and continues to do, to bring us all together to share great info and support each other. I’m grateful to be here with you all! Kind regards, Colette

  • I applaud the unusual holiday meals/traditions! What IS normal/traditional? And who said so?! 🙂 It sure makes grocery shopping easier when you aren’t buying what everyone else is.

    Holidays have always been sort of PTSD for my sister & I (even at 57 & 60 years of age with parents all alive!) due to a lifetime of the pity party/guilt/innuendos from our stepmom of where we spend our holiday visits making sure it’s even then punishing us if it’s not. So I’ve just recently broken tradition of holidays doing whatever MY family wanted to do (I know right? Radical). Soo, a golfing trip to AZ for Christmas it is!

    I am truly thankful for so many things but often forget that. I’m working on that.

  • Hey all!

    I’m spending the day alone – my parents live close by, but they just moved to a new residence, so doing any kind of Thanksgiving celebration isn’t really feasible. It looks like I’m going to spend the day amusing myself, which is perfectly fine. Others out there have it far worse than I. I’m going to see them this weekend anyway, so we’ll do a belated Thanksgiving celebration with the luxury of having restaurants open!

    My family has kept it simple when it comes to Thanksgiving. It’s a difficult meal to prepare for and I have nothing but great appreciation for those who took the time to do so, my own mother included. Personally, I love a traditional Thanksgiving feast, but it never really caught on in my family, so I was always happy to eat what everyone else wanted to eat. Maybe in the future, when the pieces are in place, I can look at preparing things like deep-fried turkey (the only way to prepare turkey), candied yams (my favorite), and everything else as part of an annual tradition.

    We in the prepper community love to talk about how bad things are getting in the world – for good reason – but I believe we all have so much to be thankful for. For one, it hasn’t all completely unraveled yet. Cold comfort, I know, but there are people out there who’ve been living out SHTFs their entire lives or on a cyclical basis. If you’ve lived in America or the West your entire lives, this isn’t something you can relate with, nor would I attempt to, either.

    Instead, I’d recognize what a privilege it is to live in civilization, in stability, if for no other reason than to mentally prepare yourself and your loved ones for the dark days to come. Nobody likes losing what we had, but if it’s going to happen, better to love it now than to regret not doing so later. The loss will be difficult to endure, either way.

    As for myself, personally, I’ve done lots of growing personally and professionally throughout the year. We’re all in a state of flux, none of us are really in as steady as state as we think we are. And that’s the way it ought to be. Change is the only constant in life, but the idea is to ensure the changes are in your favor. I’m thankful that, for the most part, the only thing I’ve had to worry about were personal and professional matters. I’ve not had to worry much about my health nor the well-being of my family members. I’m fortunate to have people in my life who take care of themselves.

    Lastly, my blog has done some tremendous growing throughout the year. I think most people in the media world have forgotten, but it’s not an entitlement to have a captive audience. You need to earn it and keep. I feel like I’ve been doing both, but it wouldn’t have happened unless I had readers who cared enough about what I had to say. So thank you to all my readers for joining me on this journey. I hope you’ll continue to stick with me as we navigate these increasingly troubled waters together.

    Wishing all of you a Happy Thanksgiving and a long, enjoyable, restful weekend. We’ve all earned it!

  • HAPPY THANKSGIVING Daisy to family and all the OP group! thankful for all your newsletters, and keeping us aware and helping to prepare us. may you all be blessed with prosperity and health, and stay safe. GOD BLESS!

  • My kids are with their dad this year which means I’ll be heading over to friends’ houses later. I’m currently working an apple pie and a pumpkin cake to bring over to my friends later. I’m grateful that I have plenty of food, teenagers that like me, and a loving community when my kids aren’t here! I’m also grateful for a side job that I enjoy 🙂

  • This year is rough because my son got offended by something I said last Thanksgiving. It was ridiculous really- he showed me a picture of a dog they were thinking of getting off petfinder and I said Did you pay for it yet? I think you should meet it first well here I am missing his 2 toddlers age 4&6 a year later and haven’t been allowed to visit. 🥹 no invite so going to his best friends house for dinner where I was invited. Pray for me please.

    • Wow, that ain’t right! So sorry your son is so sensitive/offended. I would try and reach out. A year is to long to go without seeing your grandkids.

    • Sounds like you gave him good advice. You did nothing wrong except try to give helpful advice. It has become a pandemic of kids not having anything to do with their parents over something they don’t like. Some parents have no idea what it is. Gone are the days of “honoring your parents”. I know so MANY parents in this situation – you are not alone. Many parents tell me they don’t dare give opinions or talk about anything but the weather. My oldest daughter has cut us off and rarely communicates with her siblings. The grief as you noted was losing the grandchildren. Thank goodness I have 4 other children who love me. They now have children I enjoy. Someday I hope her children will seek me out.

    • Oh, not allowing you to see your grandchildren over something so silly is terrible. I hope you enjoy your day at his friend’s.

  • I started making Kombucha. My son’s girlfriend gave me one of her SCOBYs and I drove it back with me from down south to NY lol. It makes me so happy to create different flavors each week. I am bringing a huge bottle to Thanksgiving this year.

  • This year we ordered a premade dinner. I added sweet potato casserole and green beans to it.

    Thanks to Daisy for this Blog, the books and the Frugalite from which I always get an “aha” moment.

    Best to everyone.

  • Happy Thanksgiving to all! A big thank you, Daisy, for your website! I appreciate all of your hard work and the others who contribute here. I’m so thankful for my family and the freedoms we still have. I have too many blessings to list, but I pray today for peace, comfort, and provision for all who read here.

  • Happy Thanksgiving Ya’ll. Today is my birthday and I am thankful to have made it to 54 years of age. I am also working today but it’s slow and I am making up the money I spent on my cruise to Mexico last week LOL.
    We’re doing something totally different this year. We generally go to my husband’s sisters house but this year she’s moved to Houston to be closer to MD Anderson, as she has stage 4 cancer. My brother and his wife have moved in with us so she is cooking traditional Thanksgiving. My husband is putting a turkey on smoker and sister in law has 1 in oven. my son made pies last night.
    3rd holidays without my sister, who passed away suddenly right before Halloween 3 years ago, so its rough for us because she’d come over with her family for holidays. I think that’s why I accepted all this overtime at work, to not think about all the tragedy in our family and the world. But it’s all good because I am thankful for not having to cook, having food, my own home, and job.
    Ya’ll have a wonderful Thanksgiving. God bless you all

  • Just a side note, for those who have family of the furry, four legged kind, give them something extra or special for them to take part in Thanksgiving!
    Gave the barn cats a small bowl of milk. You could hear the purring!
    Dogs will get some cheese later.

  • Thankful for a warm bed to sleep in, for a warm home to shelter us from the elements,
    thankful for having enough food to eat, a loving wife, a loving (and sometimes in the way) dog to keep me company when I go out “looking” in the countryside, grateful for a church that is supportive and accepting of who I am. My kids are all long grown with their own families, grandkids used to be a treat to have visit, but they have all grown up and gone their own ways. Life is what it is. I am thankful for The Organic Prepper, Daisy has gotten many useful topics together and has expounded on them. Learned and shared a great deal from the site. Thankful and looking forward to the Second Coming of Our Lord Jesus so all the craziness and hate in the world will go away.
    Happy turkey day, or whatever food you wish, to everyone. Cheers, HH.

  • Happy Thanksgiving! We are having 16 for dinner, smoked Turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, giblet gravy, cornbread dressing, bread dressing, cranberry orange sauce I canned, macaroni and cheese for the kiddos, rolls, and pies for dessert. Forgot green beans that I canned, very expensive, used everything I could from the garden.

  • Happy Thanksgiving! My Thanksgiving started with some hunting (didn’t see anything but that’s okay – that’s why they don’t call it catching). One of my adult sons is visiting so this afternoon we’ll have a quiet dinner with just the three of us. We’re not making anything traditional – today will be smoked chicken, biscuits, roasted butternut squash and cheesecake. Oh, and oatmeal raisin cookies. It works!

  • We make 1-2-3 Cranberry Sauce every year with Wisconsin cranberries. 1 cup water, 2 cups sugar, 3 cups cranberries. Simmer until cranberries have popped. Add cinnamon to taste.

  • Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! We are having a traditional dinner with all our family within driving distance showing up, along with a few friends who are veterans but have no family in the immediate area. We are thankful everyone we know is healthy, employed, extremely well grounded, and willing to give the shirt off their back to anyone who needs a helping hand.

  • I love Thanksgiving. I have plenty to be thankful for… and sometimes forget to remember that. Other reasons I love Thanksgiving are: time with family, turkey, and it’s kinda the start of Christmas season. I love Christmas due to “believe”. Whether it’s believe in Jesus, or for me believing in goodwill toward man and wishing of peace on earth.

    All you tradition Thanksgiving dinner people, remember gravy is a beverage, not a condiment. Drink up! : )

  • I woke up sick this morning, having caught the stomach bug from my husband. So all my plans about getting up and making pies, etc. went out the window. Cup O’Soup was going to be good enough for me. Then our son came over, and bless his vegetarian heart, he made the whole dinner (including the turkey breast) and 2 pumpkin pies. He even made the pie pastry for the first time in his life.

    I’m thankful for the heroes in my life: my Viet Nam veteran husband, our Afghanistan veteran son, our extremely generous younger son and our family.

    I’m especially grateful for my childhood. We were very poor until I was 9 or 10 years old when my dad and older brother started their construction company. No more lay-offs in the wintertime. But it was a wonderful time and was very much like Mayberry. I still thank God for my friends from those years.

    Yes, Virginia. We used to live in a Mayberry.

    But most of all, I’m thankful for the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • We are spending Thanksgiving home with just the 3 of us, me, my husband and our 12 yr old son. Today is my birthday as well, so I prepped the food last night so I just had to toss in the oven and not spend all day in the kitchen. We’re having Smoked turkey, sweet potato casserole, Mac n cheese, apple cranberry rice pilaf, spinach gratin, homemade sourdough bread and chocolate chip cheesecake. The sweet potato casserole is something I make every year and what makes it so great is I double the candied walnut topping, the best part! This thanksgiving has been a little tough for me as it’s coming up on a year 12/1 since my dad passed. Today I’m particularly missing his call to wish me happy birthday. On the other hand I’m thankful for the wonderful family and friends I do have and appreciate every time I get to spend with them. Hope you all have a wonderful day!

  • I live alone and always see The Kid after the holidays so they can spend time w/their father’s family and not feel conflicted. Today, I’m working o.t. and staying over at the hotel where I work. I’m grateful that I’m able to do this, o.t. is rare. I’ll shop tomorrow and make all the yummy sides that I love and eat them all week. I’m grateful that I found this site, thru The Frugalite and I now prep the best I can. I’m so much more secure now and don’t panic over every bump in the road. Thankyou, Daisy.

  • Thank you Daisy for all you do to help people become more prepared and offer encouragement and advice as we progress along this journey.
    I thank God for the many blessings in my life – family, friends, home, food and much more!
    Take care everyone. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Happy Thanksgiving OP Community! We are doing a traditional turkey, and have relatives coming over and bringing various side dishes. It’s been a busy day of cooking, mowing the lawn and tidying up, but I’m grateful for it. Each year the older generation is shrinking, or getting more forgetful, or less mobile etc…it makes me a little sad. It has definitely shifted from them looking after us, to us being more in the carer role, but they hang on to their independence. I’m glad we have a home and can host.
    I’ll be 51 in a few days, but Thanksgiving is my favorite day, it even beats birthdays. I hope you are all enjoying it whether big, small, fancy or simple, loud or quiet…I’m glad to be part of the wonderful community Daisy has created, even though I just pop in here and there (long lost Aunty?)
    Hau’oli la Ho’omakika’i!

  • I got to work today along with the love of my life. We had horses glad to see us and nuzzle us, and their keeper pays us for the peace of mind he gets from us.

    We went to her daughter’s apartment for turkey, mashed potatoes, yams or sweet potatoes (all the same to me), green beans, and corn. Good food and good time.

  • Well I technically skipped out on Thanksgiving this year. Baby arrived a bit ahead of schedule and we were in the hospital. Once we were able my husband picked up ready made items from the grocery store and cooked his very first ham. Definitely a different holiday but one with a lot to be thankful for. And I have to say that ham might have been the best I’ve ever eaten!

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