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The Best Things about Thanksgiving

Updated on October 11, 2014

Thanksgiving Thank You List

Everyone has something they think is best for Thanksgiving. For some, it's time spent with loved ones. For others, it's the Thanksgiving feast. Still others can't wait to glue themselves to the TV set and spend the day watching football games.

For me, I like spending it with family members whether at home or at a relative's house. Of course I look forward to the huge turkey dinner. Afterwards, I enjoy kicking back and watching a movie. This lens is all exploring Thanksgiving, finding out what different people are thankful for along with Thanksgiving fun, food and decorating ideas. Please jump right in with your ideas and suggestions!

So, let's start with what you're thankful for. A great idea is to come up with a list of some of your favorite things you're thankful for, then go over the list at the dinner table while enjoying your feast. A thankful list can also be great for kids either at home or as part of a Thanksgiving celebration at school. Here are some ideas for your list:

I am thankful for:

Name of family member

Name of friend

Your favorite movie

Your favorite food

Spiritual or religious figure

A happy memory

Something you recently learned

A place you visited

Something wonderful that unexpectedly happened

A dream that came true

This is merely a sample list to give you an idea as to how to make a thankful list. Add to or take away from as desired. A thankful list is a great way to kick off Thanksgiving and let everyone know what is nearest and dearest to your heart.

Photo by SatyrTN at Wikimedia Commons

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Thanksgiving Table Dcor Ideas

Having the right decorations on the table can really add to the atmosphere of Thanksgiving. If you have young kids at home and they've made decorations at school, by all means feature these crafts on the table. It will not only add to the family atmosphere, but give them a feeling as pride as you feel their creations are so good, they need to be featured.

Centerpieces add a nice touch to the table. There are centerpieces you can easily make that don't cost much. Try creating a dried flower arrangement. For something simple, get some small pumpkins and Indian corn and place in a cornucopia basket. For a warm touch, create a Thanksgiving candle display.

One thing I love to use is a table runner. I think it adds a touch of elegance, without being too gaudy. My favorite way to use one of these is to add small candles to it for the length of the table runner.

Photo by Pearson Scott Foresman at Wikimedia Commons.

Here's a cute centerpiece.

Thanksgiving Day Poll

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Turkey photo by sideshowmom at morgueFile.

What is the Best Part of Thanksgiving?

See results

Kids Thanksgiving Movies

Once the meal is over and the adults want to sit around and catch up on anything and everything, be sure that kids have something to do. I've always had luck with having some good movies on hand. Although there isn't an abundance of Thanksgiving movies available, there are some some movies that reflect the season and are fun for kids to watch.

Charlie Brown is such a classic.

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Delicious Thanksgiving Dessert Ideas

Dessert is the perfect way to cap off a Thanksgiving feast. Pies are a very popular dessert for this holiday, particularly among adults. Some suggested pies include:

Apple

Pumpkin

Sweet potato

Pecan

Blueberry

Chocolate cream

Of course there are many other tasty desserts to be considered. Kids might like some fresh cinnamon cookies or decorative cupcakes. Consider a Black Forest cake or some bread pudding. Now, when it comes to dessert my absolute favorite is warm chocolate melting cake. For anyone who has ever taken a Carnival cruise and tried theirs, you'll know what I'm talking about. It wouldn't be right for me to copy the recipe off of another website, but a quick search should take you to a recipe. Be sure to serve with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. This is a favorite for kids and adults alike!

Be sure to check with guests ahead of time to make sure no one has any food allergies. This is especially important if serving any kind of dessert that contains nuts. There is no shortage of fine desserts to top of a Thanksgiving meal. Know what you're serving yet?

Photo by Scott Bauer at Wikimedia Commons.

Pie Poll

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Photo by Len Rizzi at Wikimedia Commons.

What is Your Favorite Pie?

See results
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Easy Homemade Turkey Gravy

What's turkey without gravy? If looking for a simple turkey gravy recipe, here's one my family uses.

Let me start by saying that I use an oven bag when roasting a turkey. Once the bird is seasoned and in the bag, I pour two cans of Swanson Chicken Broth into the bottom of the bag. I add a few stalks of celery and some sliced onion. I also add poultry seasoning.

While cooking, some of the seasoning I used on the turkey, (salt, pepper, minced garlic and poultry seasoning,) runs off the turkey and into the bottom of the bag, thus adding more flavor. When the turkey is done, I pour the liquid from the bottom of the bag into a pot on the stove and add one package of McCormick turkey gravy mix. To thicken, I slowly add some Wondra until it reaches the right consistency. There you have it! Simple and easy turkey gravy that tastes great.

gravy photo by Sandstein at Wikimedia Commons.

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How to Give Thanks on Thanksgiving

I think it's wonderful when people make lists as to what they're grateful for on Thanksgiving. All too often, as humans, we tend to complain about what's wrong, rather than count our blessings. I think it would be nice to take being thankful one step further. How about letting someone you are thankful for know it by acknowledging that person for Thanksgiving?

If you have a neighbor who has been very helpful to you, why not bake that neighbor a pie? Have a teacher or co-worker that has really helped you out? Why not print out a poem about thankfulness and give it to that person? It could also be something so simple as to pick some flowers, (if they're blooming where you live,) or even picking up a pretty candle and each time the person light it, that person will think of you.

Saying thanks doesn't have to be anything big or expensive. It's just the idea of giving a little something back to someone who has shown you kindness. What do you think?

Photo by duane_i at morgueFile.

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What to do with Leftover Turkey

One of the great things about Thanksgiving is the leftovers. Being we're a family of six, I hardly ever have any. I like to keep things simple with my leftover turkey, rather than trying to be too clever. After all, the leftovers give me an excuse not to have to spend too much time in the kitchen.

Here are some things you can do.

Add some turkey, along with some cheese, to scrambled eggs. In our household, Parmesan cheese is a favorite. Better yet, make an omelet. Leftover turkey can work well in salads. Make your usual chicken salad, but substitute turkey instead. Like chicken Caesar salad? Why not turkey Caesar salad?

If you enjoy Mexican food, make some turkey fajitas. I'm not good at making them from scratch so I use Lawry's chicken fajitas seasoning. Like chili? Make some up using the turkey meat. Another idea is to make some fried rice and add turkey meat. If preferring a sandwich, how about adding some turkey meat to a BLT? When you stop and think about, there really are a lot of great choices for what to do with turkey leftovers. If you have some good suggestions, please let everyone know!

Photo by Klaus-Dieter Keller at Wikimedia Commons.

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    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Thanksgiving is one holiday I miss. I love turkey with all the trimmings with pie at the end.

    • rob-hemphill profile image

      Rob Hemphill 4 years ago from Ireland

      I've only been in the US for Thanksgiving once, and the food was fabulous - everyone goes to much effort, I loved it!

    • goldenrulecomics profile image

      goldenrulecomics 4 years ago

      One of my favorite things is that after all the guests are gone I use the turkey carcass to make soup, then freeze it. I can enjoy homemade soup for weeks afterwards!

    • DeborahDian profile image

      Deborah Carr 4 years ago from Orange County, California

      I love Thanksgiving! It's more relaxing than Christmas, and there are no gifts that need to be purchased. It is always a really lovely time to spend with family! I loved giving this lens my blessing!

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      Thanksgiving was always my favorite holiday, with the concentration of family being together to consume a monster meal, and to tell stories and love being together.

    • DavidLebar profile image

      DavidLebar 4 years ago

      I really like Thanksgiving too!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @Felicitas: If you're vegan, you would probably five moth like linch.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @ERD1966: I bet they love this.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @VspaBotanicals: I'm a little late, but the same to you!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @rocgirl: Family time is very important to me.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @coolmon2009 lm: Thanks.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @coolmon2009 lm: Thanks.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @roony672: Thanks to you and everyone who has commented.

    • profile image

      halloweenprops 5 years ago

      What a wonderful lens Intro image!

    • renewedfaith2day profile image

      renewedfaith2day 4 years ago

      By far my favorite holiday.

    • Felicitas profile image

      Felicitas 4 years ago

      I live in Canada. We celebrate Thanksgiving on a different day. And, I'm vegan, so I'd rather play with a live turkey. But, it's good to be reminded of the many things we have to be thankful for.

    • profile image

      ERD1966 4 years ago

      I love spending time with my wife and children on Thanksgiving day.

    • VspaBotanicals profile image

      VspaBotanicals 5 years ago

      I love this time of the year and of course the wonderful food. Another great lens. Happy Thanksgiving, Janis!

    • rocgirl profile image

      rocgirl 5 years ago

      I love Thanksgiving. It's one of the few times during the year that I can spend the entire day with my extended family. Always fun :)

    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 5 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      Looking forward to lots of turkey and all the fixings this Thanksgiving!

    • Heidi Vincent profile image

      Heidi Vincent 5 years ago from GRENADA

      Nice thanksgiving lens WriterJanis! With a little of everything and a lot of ways to say thank you! Have a wonderful weekend!

    • profile image

      coolmon2009 lm 5 years ago

      My favorite holiday and nice lens too.

    • profile image

      roony672 5 years ago

      Great lens and love that first photo!

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      What fun! Any time of year I enjoy thinking about Thanksgiving! ;-)

    • Camden1 profile image

      Camden1 5 years ago

      We also decorate our Christmas tree on Thanksgiving, which is a fun tradition!

    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 5 years ago

      The nearest we have to Thanksgiving is a Harvest Festival, probably goes back to Pagan but largely a church thanksgiving to God for our produce

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 5 years ago from USA

      P.S. My favorite pie is cherry (not on the list).

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 5 years ago from USA

      Family holidays are the best, and the food that comes with it isn't bad either.

    • LittleLindaPinda profile image

      Little Linda Pinda 5 years ago from Florida

      It is wonderful to be around your family on Thanksgiving and any day.

    • profile image

      7thStone 5 years ago

      I had to vote "other" for the pie poll ... I just couldn't pick! I'm a bit of a pie junkie (when we lived in Houston there was this restaurant called "House of Pie", I miss that place). Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.

    • Joycevoice profile image

      Joycevoice 5 years ago

      It is very important to be thankful during Thanksgiving and afterwards. Your ideas for leftover turkey are great.

    • profile image

      sojourner-1 6 years ago

      Thanksgiving is my family photography day. My camera is clicking all the time (except when I was eat turkey.). I then share all the funny moments, I mean family time! at Christmas.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 6 years ago

      i am hungry again. yummy lens. by the way, i add vegeta to gravy sauce. it will become more tasty. try it.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 6 years ago

      i am hungry again. yummy lens. by the way, i add vegeta to gravy sauce. it will become more tasty. try it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      A wonderful lens.

    • lbrummer profile image

      Loraine Brummer 6 years ago from Hartington, Nebraska

      A great family day. I like the way you make gravy. Thanks

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 6 years ago from Concord VA

      Happy Thanksgiving!

    • bechand profile image

      bechand 6 years ago

      I cant wait for thanksgiving now !

    • theSEOmama profile image

      theSEOmama 6 years ago

      Great lens, and I love the polls :)

    • Joycevoice profile image

      Joycevoice 6 years ago

      I really like your idea of going back to what is really important on Thanksgiving. The "thank you list" is a wonderful thing to do on the holiday or any time.

    • profile image

      CreativeArtDesigns 6 years ago

      Nice job! I'm ready for the pies already after reading this.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 6 years ago

      Ah, this Thanksgiving will be a new one for me; newly divorced and no longer visiting the ex's relatives in Georgia. Mom lives a bit of a drive away and the rest of the family is in Ohio. Not sure what my plans are, but I'll be thankful for many things and look to make it a new and blessed occasion. Thanks for the best things for us to think about.

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 6 years ago from East Central Florida

      Oooooh, you are making me hungry for pumpkin pie. :)

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 6 years ago

      Very nice holiday lens. I like how you wrote about the holiday from your personal point of view! :)

    • lilymom24 profile image

      lilymom24 6 years ago

      We're hoping for a quiet Thanksgiving this year as the last 4 have been a little chaotic. Looking forward to visiting with family and enjoying the food. Great turkey pic in the Thanksgiving Day poll module. =)

    • profile image

      MagicBeanDip 6 years ago

      We use a turkey bag too, but I never thought of putting broth or celery in the bag with the bird. Thanks for the idea!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Love the images and the great layout, the best thing about Thanksgiving is of course -gratitude.

    • hotbrain profile image

      hotbrain 6 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      These are some of the best things about Thanksgiving! My sister-in-law is already stocking up on pies and I'm looking forward to cooking turkey in my crockpot for the first time!

    • Mary Crowther profile image

      Mary Crowther 6 years ago from Havre de Grace

      I am thankful for your lens and your inspiring thoughts about Thanksgiving!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 6 years ago

      A nice reminder that this is the season to be thankful. It's easy to get caught up in menu and traveling details. I will make my list!

    • APackageAtTheDoor profile image

      APackageAtTheDoor 6 years ago

      Reading your lens made me realize how much I really enjoy Thanksgiving. Thanks!

    • CreativeExpress profile image

      CreativeExpress 6 years ago

      I love the idea that you included a gratitude list. Sometimes we forget that in the midst of the food:)! Great ideas on this lens!

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      What lovely suggestions for being thankful! =D

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      What lovely suggestions for being thankful! =D