Thanksgiving is a day true to it's name. On this day family and friends everywhere come together to celebrate. To give thanks for their family, to break bread with their friends.
They do this over a lavish meal in a tradition that goes back over 300 years.
We can thank the pilgrims and the native americans who decided to work together to help each other survive and celebrated with a feast that lasted for 3 entire days.
And we can thank Abraham Lincoln for giving us the day off when he made Thanksgiving an official holiday in 1863.
Since then Thanksgiving has become a tradition with traditions of its own. From the turkey at the center of the table to the cranberry sauce you almost always find by it's side.
For many of us Thanksgiving is a big event full with people food and decorations.
So for those of you preping for it here are some ideas you can use for inspiration.
Thanksgiving meal is not complete unless you add a bit of your own personalization. We will tell you some fast and easy DIY table arrangements to make your Thanksgiving cozier and personal. To start with let us concentrate on the table.
The table is the most important part of Thanksgiving decoration. It is like the canvas on which you can put your objects to create a beautiful painting. Start with choosing a suitable table cloth that will complement your centerpiece, plates, and table mats. Then use the following ways to make things glamorous.
Personal Name Cards
Write names of your guests and put them on the plate, or on creative items like flower vase, small pumpkins. You can even add a picture of the guest to spice things up. Table mats can also be used to appoint places to sit. Use a color pen, or paint to make some cool design and write down the names.
You can keep it simple or even use custom printed table mats. One artistic way is to use art or handmade paper for the table mats. Cut them to shape and lay them under the plates. Your plates should be matching the look of your table mats. You can even use cloth as table mats. You can even use wood blocks to give a rustic appeal to your setting.
Centerpieces can be anything and everything. You can use flower vases, buy centerpieces from the store or carve out one from a pumpkin. A simple arrangement can be placing a flower vase with bright flowers in the middle. Then put some tall candles around it and lay a few flowers on the table. You can use glasses to put the candles too.
Adding foliage in your centerpiece makes things interesting. You can put green shrubs or leaves in pots in the middle of the table. To complete the setting, put small foliage in cups or vases and put them on the plates.
Thanksgiving is for celebrating the harvest, and you can add a charming harvest centerpiece. Take a wooden basket and put berries and branches collected from the garden. You can add dried flowers and leafy sprigs to add texture to the arrangement.
The pumpkin vase idea is also quite amazing when it comes to centerpieces. Take a big pumpkin which you can use to put things in. You can put seasonal flowers, feathers, swirls and anything you find creative. Add a few small pumpkins around the vase or place them on small plates and scatter around the table.
Thanksgiving is never over without some of the wonderful food that we have. For all the food we have on Thanksgiving, you would need some great recipes. Who invented these recipes? And what are the common ones that you could try out this year? The first Thanksgiving meal happened in 1621, and had roast turkey with stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie - something we see in most Thanksgiving dinner even today.
Here are a few quick and easy yet delicious recipes for cooking a great Thanksgiving feast.
Appetizer - Sausage Pinwheels Recipe
- Bulk sausage (1 pound)
- Readymade crescent roll dough (1 can)
Take out the dough and put the perforated ends together by pressing to form a single sheet. Put the sausage evenly over the dough. Now roll the dough into the sausage with a log. Start folding from the long end. Now put it in a refrigerator for a night. Check in the morning if it is firm. Cut the log into equal size pieces with a knife. Spread them on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees F for 15 to 18 minutes. Take it out and serve hot.
Easy Turkey Recipe
- Preparation time -10 minutes
- Cooking time – 3 hours
- 1 Turkey (10-12 pound), giblets and liver reserved
- Apple, carrot, onion, and herbs for filling
- Butter, salt, and pepper
Start by preheating the oven to 325 degrees F. Use some paper towels to dry the turkey after scooping out the cavity. Take salt and pepper and season both inside and outside of the turkey. Fill the cavity with the chopped onions and other ingredients.
Take a roasting pan and put the turkey with the breast-side facing upwards. Use melted butter and brush evenly over the turkey. Cover it with foil and roast for around 2 hours. Take it out and put some more melted butter over your turkey after opening the foil.
Raise the temperature of the oven to 425 degrees F and roast for one more hour. Use an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part of the meat and check for 165 degrees F. Your turkey is ready now to be served.
Drinks - Peppermint Hot Chocolate Recipe
- A crockpot
- 1 cup of hot water
- 5 cups of milk
- Half cup of cocoa powder
- Half cup white sugar
- Four tablespoons of peppermint syrup
Take a large pan and put the hot water, sugar, cocoa in it. Bring it to a gentle boil and stir continuously. Put the mixture in a crockpot and add the milk and the peppermint syrup. Then heat it and keep stirring occasionally for around 2 hours until it is hot. Take some cups, pour it and top it off with some whip cream.
Dessert - Apple Pie Pockets
- Readymade crescent rolls or premade pie crusts
- Two tablespoons melted butter
- Half cup brown sugar
- 1 and a half tablespoon of ground cinnamon
Preheat, the oven to 400 degrees F., Take out the rolls or pie crust and unfold them. In a bowl mix the cinnamon and brown sugar. Use it to coat the pieces of dough. Cut the apple into pieces and put the pieces in melted butter. Then put them on the rolls or dough and close them by folding or rolling. Take a baking sheet with parchment paper and put the rolls on it. Cook it in the oven for 1o to 12 minutes until they turn light golden. Serve them hot!
Thanksgiving Mashed Potato Recipe
- Peeled and quartered 2 pounds of baking potatoes
- 1 cup of milk
- Two tablespoons of butter
- Pepper and salt
Put water and salt in a pot and bring it to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 15 minutes till they are tender. Then drain the water. Put the milk and butter in a saucepan and cook on low heat till the butter melts. Take the mixture and use an electric potato beater or masher to create a creamy and smooth paste using the potatoes. Put in salt and pepper according to taste and serve.
Activities for Kids
Thanksgiving is a great time for your children to indulge in games and activities and celebrate together as a family. Here are some excellent ideas for your kids to try out.
Art and Craft
Kids love to paint, draw and make crafts during Thanksgiving. Let us start with a simple activity.
Coloring books are great to keep the children busy while you cook dinner or enjoy with guests. You can buy a Thanksgiving coloring book from your local shop or order online. There are free coloring pages available on the internet which you can download and print out. Don’t forget to give colors to your kids. You can use crayons, pastel colors or color pencils. Watercolors can be used if the kids are a little older.
Creative Pine Cones
Kids love to play with pine cones, and they can be easily decorated. You can make anything out of them using a few supplies at your home. Some easy pine cone decoration ideas are given below.
Colorful Pine cones - Your kids can use acrylic or any form of color to paint the cones. You can give them bright colors to make it look more beautiful. They can sprinkle a little glitter on top of the paint and make them shiny.
Pine Cone Characters - Pine cones can be turned into cute characters like penguins, owls just by adding a few things to them. Your kid can paint them brown or black. Then put the paper cut out or shirt buttons to make eyes. Beaks can be made from paper or small caps of pens or other items. Cut the shape of wings on paper or cardboard and paste it on the sides. You can keep these on the dinner table for the guests to see.
Draw a Turkey with Hands
You can even draw a turkey with hands. Here is a look at what you would need.
- White sheet of paper
- Crayons or watercolor
Making a turkey using hands is fun and easy. Here are the steps to do it quickly.
Place a paper on the table and put your hand and palm down on the paper. Your kid's wrist should be at the end of the paper with the hand covering the sheet. Now start tracing with a pencil or pen starting from the wrist to the other end.
Make sure your kid places his hand firmly and it does not move while tracing the shape. Now remove the hand and give the colors for your kids to paint. Let them draw the eyes and legs and the turkey is ready!
Thanksgiving Poems and Songs
Thanksgiving is a nice time for some poems and songs for your kids. You can ask your kids to recite or sing them or read it to them. It forms a great activity and form of entertainment hearing your kids recite or sing Thanksgiving songs. Here is a small poem to start:
Thanksgiving Day I like to see Our cook performs her witchery She turns a pumpkin into pie As easily as you or I Can wave a hand or wink an eye She takes leftover bread or muffin And changes them to Turkey stuffin' She changes cranberries to sauce And meats to stews and stews to broths And when she mixes gingerbread It turns into a man instead With frosting collar 'round his throat And raisin buttons down his coat Oh, some like magic made with wands And some read magic out of books And some like fairy spells and charms But I like magic made by cooks.
Thanksgiving Facts and Trivia
Narrating interesting facts is a nice way to educate and entertain children. We present a few facts which are going to impress your kids.
- The first Thanksgiving was held for three days by Englishmen and Native Indians called Wampanoag.
- It was President Abraham Lincoln who first declared the Holiday in America.
- Each year the president of USA pardons a turkey from being cooked. It was started in 1947 by President Truman. Barrack Obama once pardoned a turkey who was presented in Disneyland's Thanksgiving Day parade.
- There were no pies and forks in the first Thanksgiving. Those were introduced much later through technological progress.
- It took 200 years for the holiday to become familiar after the first Thanksgiving.
- Traditional pictures depicting the pilgrims in black and buckles are an artist's creation. The real pilgrims did not use that type of clothing.
- More than 90% Americans eat Turkey on Thanksgiving Day.
There are a lot of things you can do in Thanksgiving from decorations to food to activities, but remember that the most important part of Thanksgiving is being thankful for the things and people in your life. Happy Thanksgiving!