You could say that the Farrack family definitely enjoys a very traditional Thanksgiving Day. Every year, I help my mom cook a huge meal for our entire family. While she prepares the turkey and stuffing, it’s my job to bring out the fine china, polish the silverware, and make sure the table is set.

However, like most families, we have also had our fair share of holidays that haven’t gone quite as planned.

My father is known for serving on the turkey committee at the rodeo. Each year he buys the largest turkey at auction, which results in my mother trying to cook a huge 40-pound bird. One year, while attempting to thaw the turkey, she dropped the huge beast of a bird and broke her foot. She hobbled around and was unable to cook that holiday. Our family banded together and pitched in more than usual in order to put together a great holiday meal for my mother.

Thankfully, most holidays are injury free at my house. We typically do a lot of snacking, watch a lot of football, and always root for the Aggies. We also play card games with my 90 year old grandmother who loves to play Hand and Foot Canasta. Skipbo is also another family favorite. After everyone has had their fill of turkey, there is always space around the house for everyone to take their traditional post-feast nap. Once everyone has recovered from their turkey comas, we try and get outside and do some sort of physical activity. We’ve been known to do anything from basketball to a bike ride. Any activity is fair game as long as it gets us up and moving. The Thanksgiving holiday also accounts for an increased amount of traffic on our roadways. During the holidays, people tend to push their limits and take part in activities that are outside of their normal routines which often results in driving while drowsy. Drowsy driving is even more common than drinking and driving and is equally dangerous. According to a National Sleep Foundation poll, 60% of adult drivers say they have driven a vehicle while feeling drowsy in the past year.

The CDC reports that going 24 hours without sleep has the same effect on the body as having a blood-alcohol content over the legal limit. Even getting two fewer hours of sleep in a single night is enough to impair a driver the next day. 100,000 crashes each year are caused by fatigued drivers.

This holiday, before hitting the road, make sure you do the following:

  • Get adequate sleep— most adults need 7-9 hours to maintain proper alertness during the day
  • Schedule proper breaks—about every 100 miles or 2 hours during long trips
  • Arrange for a travel companion—someone to talk with and share the driving
  • Avoid alcohol and sedating medications—check your labels or ask your doctor

If you play your cards right, your holiday will include lots of food, great time with family, lots of rest, and a great shopping deal or two. We wish each of you a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday!

– Kristin Farrack