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Celebrating Thanksgiving this November
A Thankful Thanksgiving Holiday
The Thanksgiving Holiday for me is one of the most special and heartwarming holidays of the year. Not only is it a day to remember everything we are thankful for, it also marks the beginning of that warm cozy feeling you get when the holidays roll around. You know you’ll be spending time with loved ones and having a couple of days off to enjoy your family and friends. Plus there’s all that delicious food to enjoy.
Planning my holiday is very important to me because it gives me an opportunity to express to my family and friends how very important and dear they are to me.
Here are some of my tips to help you plan a fabulous Thanksgiving Holiday party and have a great celebration.
If you plan to send invitations, you can make inexpensive leaf invitations using construction paper. Using brown construction paper, cut out a leaf shape and print your party information on it. You can also use Evite to send out electronic invitations where guests can RSVP and let everyone know who will and will not attend.
There are a variety of decorations you can purchase at your local party store or dollar store. Some of my favorite suggestions are:
- Make cornhusk dolls or fill mini plastic canoes with small pumpkins, corn and squash. Place them on your coffee table or serving table.
- Use a variety of apples as candle holders and choose orange, yellow, brown or white candles.
- Fill large baskets with Indian corn, squash, or mini pumpkins.
- Let the kids create a totem pole with poster board, markers, and construction paper. Use them as napkin and utensil holders.
- Hang Indian corn wreaths or Indian corn with husks braided.
- Invite guests to wear Pilgrim or Native American Indian costumes to your party. Kids can also help make mini pilgrim hats and use them as name place cards.
- Hollow out a pumpkin and fill it with flowers, fall leaves, or candy.
Every year I cook the same thing. I only save this menu for Thanksgiving dinner so my family always looks forward to it since they haven't had it in a year.
For appetizers, I serve a shrimp platter, cheese ball with water crackers, tapas consisting of manchego cheese, chorizo and olives, mini quiche, and fried ravioli.
For the main course, I make a roasted turkey, wild rice, sweet potato, mashed potato, corn, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, meat or dried fruit stuffing, and crescent or dinner rolls.
For dessert, we serve pumpkin pie, apple pie, cheesecake, cheese or pumpkin flan, and nougant.
Some other favorite foods you can serve are: quail, goose, duck, venison, prime rib, lasagna, avocados, cabbage, corn bread, winter squash, dumplings, rutabagas, tunips, macaroni and cheese, chowder, pumpkin or chicken noodle soup, vegetables such as peas, succotash, collard greens, broccoli or cauliflower, yams, and wild berries and fruit.
- One of our main activities is to take pictures as a family. Since we have the opportunity to have the whole family together this is a perfect time to create great photographs.
- For the kids, we usually purchase several simple crafts at the dollar store and place all the items on a card table for them to enjoy. Here they can color or play games together while the adults mingle.
- After dinner, you can build a campfire and roast marshmallows or make smores. Set up a tepee and tell Indian stories. Ask your local library for several books on Indian, Pilgrim or Thanksgiving tales.
- Ask each person to say something positive about someone else at the table.
- For a memorable Thanksgiving holiday, take some extra time to get all your guests together to say what they are thankful for. Some families follow a yearly tradition of saying grace or reciting poems and prayers before sitting down for their meal.
- Once everyone is seated at the table, go around the table and have each person tell what they are thankful for. Include things that have happened throughout the year regardless of how small they were.
- Say Grace. Saying grace should not make you or your guest uncomfortable. Appoint someone in the family who likes public speaking to say a few words. Simple prayers are always best and it reminds us to appreciate everything we have in our lives.
- Start your own tradition by sharing with love ones what you are thankful for.
Plan your party carefully at least two weeks in advance so you can enjoy your Thanksgiving day. Don't try to make everything perfect, just enjoy things as they come. Imperfect holidays are the most memorable ones.
Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving.