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Thanksgiving Day Celebration

Updated on November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day is a federal holiday, which is observed by all levels of government, public offices, schools, colleges and most businesses. The first Thanksgiving Day occurred in 1621 to celebrate the first harvest on American soil. It was a day to give thanks to God for his blessings, where 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims feasted for three days in an event. Today it continues as an American tradition. It is also known by the name of “Turkey Day”.

Thanksgiving Day is celebrated each year by Americans in the United States on the fourth Thursday of November month. Many families follow different traditions to celebrate this day, usually traditions of first Thanksgiving is followed. It is also celebrated in Canada on the second Monday of October month. Around the world, several other places also celebrate this day similarly. Thanksgiving Day, Christmas and New Year together makes a broader holiday season.

Thanksgiving means different things to different people, but for most it means ‘turkey’, family, friends, festive meals, football, parades and togetherness. Basically it revolves around food which includes a wide variety of traditional recipes. For some it is enjoying each other’s company, catching up and spending time together with full joy and happiness. It is a family oriented holiday.

Thanksgiving Day reminds all of us to give thanks to everyone and to God for everything – Be thankful for what you have, give thanks with grateful heart. Give thanks to the God for he is good and gave you a beautiful life. One of the best gifts you can give someone is the gift of thanking them for being a part of your life. People travel their family and friends to give thanks and spend time together.

Thanksgiving dinner typically comprises of ‘turkey’ filled with mashed potato stuffing and gravy. Cornbread, cranberry sauce, sweet potato pies, apple and pumpkin pies in dessert often accompany the grand meal. At the end of this meal, people make a wish by breaking a wishbone. The reason behind using a big juicy turkey in the meal was the bird’s availability widely, relatively affordable and above all just one bird could feed the entire table. One could easily roast it unattended in the oven for hours which leaves you free to do other important tasks.

Some Thanksgiving Events include:

  • Watching or attending the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City which has many giant balloons, cheerleaders, marching bands and an annual pageant of floats.
  • Shopping on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving which is the busiest shopping day of the year with huge sales everywhere.
  • Watching the most famous college football games on Friday and Saturday, just after Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving football games are as old as this holiday itself and now an integral part of the day.
  • The U.S. President participates in a ‘turkey pardon’ which involves receiving a Native American bird – a live turkey and set it free.

Thanksgiving Countdown Planner:

People start preparing for Thanksgiving Day months ago. Here is the planner -

1 month before – finalize guest list and plan your menu

3 weeks before – create a shopping list, shop for drinks and order a turkey

2 weeks before – clean out your freezer, make and freeze pie dough or an entire apple pie, freeze homemade stocks, freeze rolls, decide on décor

1 week before – shop for non-perishables, freeze soup, pick up your turkey, prepare a cooking schedule, create a seating plan and plan ahead for leftovers

3 days before – defrost your turkey as it takes plenty of time depending upon the size and weight, buy perishable ingredients

2 days before – make cranberry sauce, pie crusts and pies

1 day before - prepare side dishes that can be re- heated, prepare garnishes, bake pies and leave some to be made fresh for the day

Thanksgiving Day – do not stress, stick to the day of plan, be a good host and enjoy

The day after – use your leftovers

Thanksgiving Day Gifts:

Traditionally, gifts were not exchanged on this day but you can express your love and admiration for everyone who loves you and who cares for you by simply giving a gift. It can be as simple as a hug, a beautiful flower or a card to express your gratitude. You can also gift any household item, perfumes, cakes, home decor items, party accessories, chocolates, teddy bear, stuff toys or any gift basket of edibles and wine. As a host, you should open the gifts and immediately thank the giver, also try to use their gift during the party if it is related to decor or your meal.

I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration.

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