There is a distinct advantage to middle-age: People come to you for the holidays. At this stage of your life, you've got the space and the kids so you suck in the grandparents and don't forget all those college students heading for home. Sure, you'll fuss over the bird, but no stressing over the cost and chaos of flying.
As for the rest of us who must fly this Thanksgiving, some practical advice:
First, don't just sit there - shop! If you're picky about flights, meaning you must travel certain days and/or certain times of day, you should have bought your tickets yesterday. Okay, a slight exaggeration, but you really must get on this.