Ode to Thanksgiving
What did the Pilgrims eat on Thanksgiving?
It is commonly believed that the first actual celebration of the harvest and blessings from God took place in Plymouth in 1621. The festivities lasted three days and included feasting, entertainment, and competitions. For more about the holiday’s history!
Who Doesn’t Love a Parade?
The first annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade took place in 1924. That first year, it was known as the Macy’s Christmas Parade. It was created to launch the holiday shopping season. Today, the parade is attended by an estimated three million people each year. Approximately 44 million people around the country watch the parade on television.
Other large parades which commemorate the holiday are the IKEA Thanksgiving Parade in Philly, McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago, and the UBS Parade Spectacular in Stamford.
Find holiday-themed wallpaper or screensavers here!
Want some holiday music to enhance your gathering? Get free, fast downloads of 30+ songs.
“If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness.” …. Gerald Good
Thanksgiving Around the World
Thanksgiving is essentially a harvest related festival. It celebrates communal harmony.
Canada celebrates Thanksgiving on the second Monday in the month of October.
India also has a number of harvest related festivals in different regions.
Other Thanksgiving traditions around the world.
Money-saving tips for Thanksgiving–something we would all be thankful for!
2. Keep it simple. Cut down on the number of side dishes you have. A festive table doesn’t have to be extravagant.
3. Serve boxed wine or large bottles of soda. Cans and individual bottles are far more expensive.
4. Use natural items for decorations–leaves, fruit, squash, gourds, pumpkins, and dried flowers from your garden. A large candle and colorful fruit make a lovely centerpiece. Visit a dollar store for inexpensive holiday items.
5. Check store ads for sales and coupons before you shop for Thanksgiving Day goodies.
6. If time and your schedule allow, bake it yourself. Baking all your pies at one time will also save energy costs.
7. Plan ahead for using the leftovers. In addition to the tradition soup and sandwiches, think about turkey chili, tacos, frittatas, enchiladas, salads, and even paella. Note: price per pound of a turkey decreases with weight. The bigger the bird, the less the cost–and the more for leftovers!
8. Volunteer. Soup kitchens, church outreach programs, and ‘Meals On Wheels’ can certainly use help, so skip the shopping, share your time with others, and let your family members see how fortunate they really are.”
“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “Thank you,” that would suffice.” Meister Eckhart
More than 40 million green bean casseroles are consumed each Thanksgiving!
Tofurkey, a soy-and-wheat based turkey alternative, was created by Sam Tibbot in 1995 and continues to be a popular choice among vegetarians.
And speaking of vegetarians…there are lots of websites with fabulous vegetarian recipes and ideas for veggie stuffing, gravy, sides, and all foods Thanksgiving. Prefer organic? How about diabetic recipes for appetizers, sides, breads, and desserts?
Tired of the same old, same old? Here are alternatives to turkey.
Thawing, cooking, and serving the bird:
- Whole turkey–1 lb. per person
- Bone-in turkey breast–¾ lb. per person
- Boneless turkey breast–½ lb. person
Time required for thawing the bird: for each 4 ½ lbs. of frozen turkey, allow 24 hours of thaw time in the refrigerator. Once fully thawed, the turkey may be refrigerated for 1-2 days.
Quick” thawing method: Place turkey in its original wrapping in sink and cover with COLD water. Change the water every 1/2 hour to maintain the temperature. Allow 1/2 hour per pound to defrost the turkey. Most turkeys will take from 5 to 10 hours to thaw.
Don’t forget the kids!
There are so many Thanksgiving activities for the younger set to take part in, especially while they’re waiting for the turkey to cook.
Make memories with these turkeys made from tracings of your child’s hands and feet.
Use fresh and dried leaves for art projects like the creative ones at Squigly’s Playhouse.
Make a simple banner using coffee filters and printed letters looks more complicated than it is. Children will love folding the filters to look like turkey tails.
This Thanksgiving Feast is a fun arcade-style food game for kids to learn about nutrition.
Celebrate the Thanksgiving with holiday coloring pages.
Create your own log cabin on paper using Popsicle sticks.
Think you are smarter than a TURKEY? Go on a turkey hunt and find out!
Get games and puzzles that are too numerous to count and just plain fun!
Holiday Humor for the young–and young at heart
- Can a turkey jump higher than the Empire State Building?
Answer: Yes – a building can’t jump at all
- Which side of the turkey has the most feathers?
Answer: The outside
- Why do Pilgrims have trouble keeping their pants up?
Answer: Cause they wear their belts on their hats!
- What is the Turkey’s favorite black tie celebration?
Answer: The Butter Ball
- Want more?
Here you can download Over The River and Through the Woods.
Nothing says Thanksgiving more than traditional football rivalries.
If your ‘over the river and through the woods’ trip is not taking you to Grandma’s, you might want to visit Road Trip America to help plan.
Traveling with kids? Here are tips to help entertain them.
So there you have it–facts, tips, humor, recipes, quotes, and websites to guide you to everything you have ever wanted to know about Thanksgiving.
May your Thanksgiving be an enjoyable celebration shared with friends and family, and one filled with gratitude for all your blessings!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!