Some people love Valentine’s Day. Others sparkle at Christmas.

Shopping Siren’s always been partial to Thanksgiving.

Yes, OK, the fact that my birthday falls around the holiday probably had something to do with it growing up. You can’t beat turkey and birthday cake. Also, presents.

But there’s just something nice about having a day dedicated to being thankful.

So with the holiday coming around again, I’m giving thanks for everything good in life. Thanks for family and friends. Thanks for good health.

Thanks for all the stuff that helps make a great Thanksgiving.

And birthday. (Hello, 29, again!)

* Bouchon, The Bread Shack, $1.25 each

A dense, rich, bite-sized dessert — think dark-chocolate brownie taste in a mini-muffin shape. My favorite reward for hours of pre-Thanksgiving, pre-birthday-celebration house-cleaning. Because those spiderwebs in the corner of the kitchen? Added ambiance for Halloween but are a little too creepy hanging over Aunt Martha’s famous cheese balls.

* Welcome mat, Walmart, $12.97

Pretty mat with blocks of purple, red, green and blue, complete with “welcome” in the center. Made of all-weather material, so it works great for welcoming snow-covered family members should winter start in earnest next week. Colorful, so it’s a decorative touch to the nice, clean entrance. (See aforementioned bouchon/reward.)

* Eucerin Aquaphor Healing Ointment hand cream, 14 oz., Walmart, $14.26

Because I’m nothing if not obsessive about preventing cooking cross-contamination. That means washing my hands after handling the raw turkey, after cracking eggs for cornbread, before sampling the veggie platter — basically, any time I touch food, which is a lot during family get-togethers. This thick, unscented hand cream helps combat soap-induced dryness at the end of the day. And it comes in a tub, so it lasts nearly forever. (“Nearly forever” being three years now.)

* Equate ibuprofen, 200 tablets, 200 mg, Walmart, $4

For Thanksgiving-associated backaches from lifting a 25-pound turkey from oven twice and a 12-pound Siren cat from kitchen counters a million times.

* Greenies dental cat treats, beef flavor, Pet Life, $2.99

To entice said Siren cat off the counters without lifting. Huzzah!

* Sketchers D’Lites Centennial women’s sneakers, Kohl’s $49.99

Lightweight black sneakers with pink and white accents, available in wide width. Not as pretty as dress shoes, but far easier to run around in. Want to be thankful for sneakers? Wear heels over Thanksgiving.

* Food Network glass bowls, Kohl’s, $5.59 small and $11.89 large

Squarish glass bowls that make anything look special. For example, vanilla ice cream to go with birthday cake. Or, you know, apple pie. Or both. I don’t judge.

Best find: Popcorn Indiana movie theater popcorn, 6.9 oz., Walmart, $2.58

For watching a movie with family. Forget turkey, cake or presents; this is the part I’m most thankful for.

Think twice: X Gear megaphone, Kohl’s, $15

Orange megaphone complete with siren. Thanksgiving (and birthday celebrations) can speak volumes all on their own.

Shopping Siren’s true identity is protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who want to know why they don’t get treats for staying off the counter in the first place) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach her at [email protected]


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