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The importance of Thanksgiving goes beyond the fact that you get off from work. It’s also not the beacon for the arrival of Christmas. The holiday is a relaxing detour from the busyness of our lives.
The Pilgrims had a hard time setting up their homes, but today we just have to take a breather and work on our relationships. As always, technology is here to help with these five Thanksgiving sites.
Make a stress-free journey, cheer yourself up with some music, eat well, shop heartily, and then say thanks before you give something back!
Google’s Mapping Thanksgiving: Avoid Busy Times
Thanksgiving is one of the busiest times of the year. You will be part of serpentine lines of cars on the highways and the cavalcade of shoppers on the sidewalks. But Google doesn’t look at it like that. It wants to make your life easier with data.
Search analytics and Google Location History from last year are used to compile a map of all the places people visit during the holiday week. This is compared to a non-holiday week and what emerges is a deep insight into the best and worst times to be on the road.
The data here can help you tweak your plans and have a stress-free holiday or road trip.
For instance, you can do a city-wide scan for crowds at bakeries, grocery stores, liquor stores, movie theaters, and shopping centers. Avoid them during peak hours indicated in the “map”. Another little tool on the page calculates the best and worst times to leave for your Thanksgiving road trip.
Spotify’s Soundtrack Your Ride: A Playlist for the Thanksgiving Road Trip
Road trips come with their own set of decisions. Often, the quality and memories of the ride can be decided by simple things like a song playlist. A classic Thanksgiving road trip can exhaust the better part of even two days.
It can be just a couple of hours too. But why waste the occasion when you can call upon Spotify to design the perfect playlist for you.
Soundtrack Your Ride is a new tool from Spotify that creates a custom playlist of any length based on a few answers to the questions it asks you.
For instance, Spotify will quiz you on who are you traveling with? Then you will be asked to pick a genre, your particular kind of drive vibe, your ultimate driving song, and type of car.
The screenshot above shows a 30-song playlist Spotify made for me based on a three-hour imaginary road trip. It’s a mix and match of songs that are also influenced by your previous listening history. Although, I have no idea why the quiz asked for my car type.
Thanksgiving Recipes From Bing: Find the Perfect Recipe
The recipe carousel on Bing’s search page has existed for some time. But it’s time to draw attention to it again this year because it can be a time saver. Thanksgiving dinners mean huge feasts and a variety of them. Use Bing Search to find the right recipes.
Bing’s recipe search collects them from the best recipe sites on the web and gives you a few more filters to sift through them. The photos of the dishes are a big help too. Use the Total time, Nutrition, and Best match filters to find a dish you can cook without trouble.
Click on a dish and it opens to reveal a card with a list of ingredients, nutritional facts, and the substitutions you can make. Of course, a button leads you to the source site and the full set of instructions.
Now, you have enough time to set your table before the guests arrive.
Black Friday.com: Find the Best Shopping Deals for Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving leads to Black Friday and this announces the first day of Christmas shopping. Promotions, deals, and the mad scramble ensue. It’s tough to keep up where the best offer is coming from.
Of the many sites that showcase Black Friday deals, we are going with this one. It aggregates ad scans from all the popular stores like Walmart, Macy’s, and Target. You can click on any of them to dive into the catalog of discounts and offers from that store. Choose a deal and click through to the site for the purchase.
You can shop by category too instead of going to each store. But signing up for deal alerts and fresh ad scans could be another way to jump ahead of the queue.
GivingTuesday: Find a Way to Give Back
Thanksgiving and the idea of giving something back to society are always tied together. The day to be thankful is also an important reminder that there are the less fortunate among us. GivingTuesday could just set the mood for the winter holidays.
GivingTuesday is held annually the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. This year it will be on December 3, 2019. The global celebration begins at midnight local time and runs for 24 hours. One single day is devoted to doing good in any way possible.
The easiest way to jump in is to search for something that helps your community. The site has a search engine that can connect you to many local charities. Take it from there.
The site says that there are over 200 local GivingTuesday movements in the United States and 60 country campaigns. It has the makings of a global movement.
Have the Best Thanksgiving Yet!
A journey, some music, good food, great Black Friday bargains, and generosity represent all the rites of passage you must go through during Thanksgiving. They are as imperative as the turkey or the lumpy mashed potatoes.
And if you are hosting a party for family and friends, there’s still time to plan the perfect Thanksgiving party.