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15 Thanksgiving Tips and Tricks for The Whole Family

November 09, 2021

Have you slept off the sugar rush and gotten your Halloween fear out of your system? Are you ready to gear up for the mellow and wholesome holiday experience of Thanksgiving? Well, if you haven't, you better hurry up because the time of the year to show gratitude towards everything and everyone you have in your life is already knocking on the door. The best part of Thanksgiving is that it offers many different activities to choose from as a way to express one's gratefulness. Those who are more active will participate in a Turkey Trot, while others will curl up on the couch and watch the big game. Parents with kids will craft paper turkeys and color cornucopias with them. Recipes will be passed down from generation to generation, and naps will be enjoyed after indulging in traditional lunches and dinners with friends and family. Others will prefer to celebrate the magic of giving by volunteering or donating to the less fortunate as a way of showing their gratitude. You name it- Thanksgiving is offering it. And to make sure you have the time of your life celebrating with your loved ones, The Holiday Blog has put together a list of different tricks and ideas for you. Including some cooking tips from a very special someone. But before you get into it, let's have a brief overview of the history of the holiday and some of the best traditions to observe during your Thanksgiving celebration. So here it goes.

History of Thanksgiving

Where to begin? Cultures worldwide have Thanksgiving traditions, and it is important to recognize every culture's contribution to society nowadays. While there is some dispute about the official date of the first observation in America, the tradition can be traced to the arrival of 38 English settlers at Berkeley Hundred, Virginia, in 1619. The group's charter required "that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned... in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God." Then in 1621, a good harvest prompted Plymouth Pilgrims to celebrate with the Natives who helped feed them during the previous winter's food shortage. Two centuries later, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving an official holiday for all states in 1863, and it has since been celebrated on the last Thursday of November. Ever since, many beautiful traditions have been created, and some have established themselves among society and are widely celebrated all over the country up to this day. Let's check some of the most popular ones.  

Traditions to Celebrate  

Macy's Thanksgiving Parade

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has become one of America's most cherished holiday celebrations. Every year since 1924, the world's largest parade takes place in one of the world's biggest melting pots: New York City. Thousands of people line the streets in hopes of catching a glimpse. Inflatable balloons that float between the skyscrapers and above the spectators are a trademark of this parade, making it a must-see event at least once in a person's lifetime!  

Breaking The Wishbone For Good Luck

Traditionally, the wishbone (a Y-shaped bone associated with many superstitions) is left to dry after the turkey has been carved. After the meal is finished, two people break the bone while making their wishes. It is said that whoever wins the bigger piece will have theirs granted and will be blessed in the coming year.

Traditional Thanksgiving Meal 

The traditional meal is an absolute must-have on Thanksgiving Day. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and Brussels sprouts are just some of the most common dishes everyone is serving this evening, followed by the all-around favorite dessert: a steamy pumpkin pie. The best argument to indulge in the Thanksgiving feast: calories don't count on this day.

Showing Gratitude

Reflecting on the past year with family and friends is a beautiful way to spend the Thanksgiving holiday season. Whether you decide to do it during the traditional meal or while spending quality time after in the day, sharing something you're grateful for is a great way to bond with your loved ones and celebrate the holiday traditions at the same time.

Watching a Football Game

US football is the most popular sport, and Thanksgiving Day games were first held in 1876, just a few years after the first football game was played. So, there is no wonder that America's most popular sport made it onto the list with favorite Thanksgiving traditions to celebrate with family and friends.

Running a Turkey Trot

Turkey trots are a rising trend across the US on Thanksgiving Day. Local communities are flooded with runners, walkers, and spectators for these races, from 5K fun runs to half marathons. It is a fun and creative way to earn and burn Thanksgiving dinner calories. Even when they don't count.

Black Friday

When it comes to the retail world, the day after Thanksgiving is referred to as Black Friday. Due to its popularity, this day has now become its own mini holiday. Despite the rise of online shopping, this day still has people standing in line for hours early in the morning to take advantage of substantial discounts and begin their Christmas shopping. And the perfect way to top it all off? Participate in the following Cyber Monday as well.

Giving Back 

There are many ways you can go to give back to your community. Many towns in the United States host annual food drives to collect packaged and canned goods for those in need as a way of saying thanks and showing their gratitude toward their community. Many organizations also hold Thanksgiving feasts to ensure that everyone has a place and means to enjoy the official holiday meal.

What better way to participate in the magic of giving than binding it with another beautiful holiday tradition?

Book a special sensory-friendly Santa Magic experience in a participating location near you and enjoy the opportunity to support Autism Speaks journey to support and spread awareness for the autism community across the country.  

Take a picture with Santa together with your pet during special Pet Night Events in selected locations near you and have the chance to support The Hume Society of US on their big fight to end all forms of animal cruelty around the world. 

 

The Holiday Blog hopes you had fun reading about the holiday's history and some of its most celebrated traditions. So, without further ado, let's get into the best Thanksgiving tips and tricks that are sure to make your friends and family have more to look forward to in the future than the tasty holiday meals.  

15 Thanksgiving Tips and Tricks

Decoration Tips

DIY Cornucopia  

This is a fun, easy craft for kids and adults alike. All you need is a long ¾ inch rope and hot glue. Fold about 4 inches of one end of the string onto itself. Start wrapping the other end around it into bigger and bigger rings, gluing as you go. Once it is as big as you like, make a final ring between and on top of the last and second to last rings for effect. Add a ring of rope to the base to keep it from rolling. Then just fill it up with fruits or vegetables!

DIY Apple Candleholders

Use a paring knife to cut holes in the tops of your apples just smaller than the base of your candles and wedge the candles in place.

Cinnamon Stick Place Cards Holders 

Wrap the ends of cinnamon sticks together with red twine and insert between them place cards with the names of your guests written on them.

Want to create some fun festive cards that you can use to decorate your Thanksgiving table? Then welcome to MyPhoto! This fun platform uses your favorite family photos or cool snaps with friends and turns them into the best holiday pictures! Try it out now!  

Gratitude Tree

Place a leafless branch in a vase. Have your guests write what they are thankful for on leaf-shaped colored paper. Hang the leaves to make them come to life.

DIY Basket Wreath

Decorate an old Easter Basket with autumn flowers for a rustic look.  

Organization Tricks 

Set The Table The Night Before. 

This is an easy way to cross your to-do list, a simple task that often becomes more complicated when done at the last moment. So, spare yourself the hustle and set the table the night before. What you can do right before the guests come is throw in some finishing touches. It is proven that the human brain takes unexpected, creative decisions when met with time limitations. Make sure to use this little secret to your advantage.  

Prepare as Many Dishes as You Can in Advance.

It is possible to freeze both gravy bases and vegetables for up to two days. If you're making a recipe that can't be created ahead of time, think about prepping the vegetables, so they're ready to roast.

Chill Wine Quickly.

If guests arrive earlier than expected or you just forget to put the wine to cool early enough, try out one of these tricks for chilling the wine fast:

1. Wrap the bottle in a damp towel and put it in the freezer for around 15 minutes.

2. Prepare an ice bath for the wine. A secret way to help it cool faster is to add a cup of salt to the icy water.

Mrs. Claus Special Cooking Tips

Check Turkey's Temperature

When checking the readiness of your turkey, always use a meat thermometer. Avoid placing your thermometer too close to the bone, which can influence the result and make it inaccurate. Slide the thermometer horizontally into the thigh of the turkey until it almost hits the bone. Repeat the same process with the breast. If the temperature hits 180 degrees F in the thigh and 170 degrees F in the breast, it's done and ready to be served and enjoyed.

Talking Turkey

These are the dos and don'ts of turkey cooking. Do make sure you are serving about 1.5 pounds per person to have leftovers available. Thaw the turkey in the fridge for at least a day. Do not wash the turkey. Bacteria will be cooked off in the oven without contaminating your sink. A high-quality store-bought turkey (like Butterball or Norbest) does not require brining. Do not cook stuffing inside the turkey, as the meat will be overcooked before the stuffing is ready.

Activity Ideas for The Whole Family 

Play Boardgames

What better way to bond with your friends and family than spending some quality time playing fun board games? And hey- no cheating!

Listen to some festive tunes and dance to them.

No holiday is complete without some fun, festive tunes that you can dance to with your loved ones! The Holiday Blog has prepared an excellent playlist with holiday songs to ensure you have the best times during your Thanksgiving celebration.

Craft a Family Tree

Have the older and the youngest members of your family gather and exchange some long-kept family tales. A great way to get your kids creative is to ask them to do a family tree based on the information they have just learned. And who knows? You might as well learn something new yourself!

Family Football Game

Get your sports spirit ready and participate in a friendly football game with the whole family. The loser gets to do the dishes!  

Potato Sack Race For The Whole Family

One potato, two potato,

Three potato, four.

Five potato, six potato,

Seven potato, more.

Getting in these potato sacks is a sure way to get everyone into the spirit of Thanksgiving!  

The Holiday Blog hopes you had fun reading about some of the most celebrated Thanksgiving traditions and that you learned a thing or two about how to make this holiday a moment to remember for all of your family and friends. Share your favorite Thanksgiving tips and traditions in the comment section down below or on Facebook and Instagram. Searching for more Thanksgiving inspiration? Check out this Pinterest board.  

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The Holiday Blog wishes you and your loved ones a Thanksgiving celebration filled with warmth and lasting happy memories.

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