Put Romance in Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving cocktailsThere’s much to be said for a Thanksgiving spent just with you and your significant other.  Maybe you live far away from family or don’t have children or extended families. Maybe you just want to spend a few days off from work doing nothing.  Whatever the reason, Thanksgiving can be a very romantic time for lovers if you forgo the crowds and the sleep-inducing turkey.

Without hardly any effort at all, you can plan a special day or evening for just the two of you with one of the ideas below.

  • Have a romantic breakfast in bed on Thanksgiving morning and do the New York Times crossword puzzle together.
  • Go for a walk through a park.  Don’t forget the camera—you’ll want to remember the colors of winter’s onset.
  • Buy fresh lobster for dinner and watch Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall.”
  • Find an out-of-town B&B and both of you “assume” a fantasy persona. Speak with a British accent; wear over-the-top clothes—who cares?  You’ll never see these people again—probably.
  • Find a local state park cabin with a fireplace.  Bring extra blankets and throw rugs. Bring a prepared gourmet dinner that you picked up from your favorite bistro—something you don’t have to heat.  Don’t forget the wine and cheese!
  • At home, have a barrel of popcorn ready and decide in advance if you want a marathon of Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black” or any season of “The Sopranos.”
  • Address Christmas cards together over tea, hot cocoa or mulled wine (see my recipe below).  And, don’t just sign your name.  Use this time together to remember what’s special about these friends and write it on the card.
  • Don’t go to a soup kitchen and volunteer. Most soup kitchens have plenty of volunteers this time of year.  Instead, talk about what you would like to do with any year-end bonuses that might or might not involve a tax-deductible charity. Your favorite animal shelter does great work.  But think about people you know, too. For example, you might know a neighbor out-of-work or a young person ready to go to college with little money. It’s fun and meaningful for the two of you to think about how you could give to those who need it—giving anonymously is even better—the two of you will forever share this secret of giving.

Mulled Wine (featured in my new book, “12 Happy Hours,” soon to be available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.  I’ll keep you posted if you will “like” Thirsty Jane on Facebook.)

1 bottle red wine

1 orange

6 whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/3 cup sugar

3 splashes brandy


Remove peel from orange with a vegetable peeler trimming white parts. Cut orange in half, squeeze juice from it and set aside. Pour about 1/4 cup of wine in a pot and add sugar, orange peel, cinnamon stick, cloves, nutmeg and vanilla extract. Bring to a boil and continue for a few minutes until syrupy. Add rest of wine, brandy and orange juice and lower to lowest heat. Don’t allow wine to boil, otherwise alcohol will burn off. Leave wine to steep on low heat for about 20 minutes. Strain out spices and orange peel. Enjoy in warm mugs. (Photograph copyright 2013 Lisarae Photo Design)