Turkey Preparation Trepidation

You don’t know how challenging it is to cook a Thanksgiving feast until you attempt to do it all by yourself… without a double oven… or Chinese take-out. How did my mom pull it off year after year? Turkey Day is just a few hours away and if you haven’t already formulated your game plan for the all-you-can-eat holiday buffet taking place on your dining room table, then I wish you luck. Goodness knows I am going to need it. This year, I decided to make like my mom and spearhead our Thanksgiving Day dinner. And by dinner I don’t … Continue reading

Turkey Day Tricks

The last thing you want to have to deal with on Thanksgiving–besides being forced to watch Uncle George and Cousin Ralph duke it out over ways lawmakers should resolve the fiscal cliff–is witnessing a mini table filled with kids go bonkers from boredom. There may be little you can do to avoid dysfunction amongst your older guests, but there are a slew of simple tricks you can pull out of your hat to keep your youngest Turkey Day guests entertained, including: Turkey Hunt: Place turkey stickers on 12 index cards and list a small prize on the back of each … Continue reading

Preventing Thanksgiving Meltdowns

It can be the best of times. It can be the worst of times. I’m referring to Thanksgiving. Or more specifically Thanksgiving gatherings with extended family… and a heaping helping of dysfunction. I once saw a greeting card that read: “Thanksgiving, bringing out the best in family dysfunction since 1863.” Hey, if you can’t prevent it, you might as well embrace it. In many clans, no Turkey Day celebration would be complete without some family drama. Still, you don’t have to let the feud between Uncle Larry and Cousin Stewart ruin your holiday. Nor should you allow meltdowns by your … Continue reading

Lending a Helping Hand

“Charity begins at home.” If I had a dime for each time my parents used that expression while I was growing up, I’d be rich enough to start my own charity. Its repetition was annoying, but effective nonetheless. My brothers and I learned the value of loyalty, and the importance of taking care of the people close to you. Now that I’m a parent, I try to provide opportunities for my child to lend a hand at home, so that when it comes time to help others outside our inner sanctum, she jumps at the chance without giving it a … Continue reading

Can You Afford a Traditional Thanksgiving Meal?

Last night, our local food bank issued a public plea to area businesses and families who have the ability to help the community’s less fortunate. The non-profit needs monetary and/or food donations immediately or hundreds of needy individuals won’t be able to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal this year. With the economy in the dumpster and millions of moms and dads out of work, it’s no surprise that a record number of parents are being forced to swallow their collective pride and turn to community food banks for assistance. And it’s not just the unemployed who are struggling to prepare … Continue reading

Affordable Seasonal Adornments

Looking for some constructive family fun this weekend? Raking leaves, cleaning gutters and unpacking winter clothes may not be your kids’ idea of F-U-N, but the jobs still need to get done. One way to make the tasks a bit more enjoyable is by offering a reward upon completion. When your clan is done cleaning up inside and out, empty your craft closet and have fun making the following kid-friendly art projects. The finished items can be used to embellish your home before your Thanksgiving guests arrive. FALL LUMINARY BAGS: Gather leaves from your yard to make these pretty fall-themed … Continue reading

Easy Thanksgiving Crafts You Can’t Mess Up

Thanksgiving is just two weeks away. Are you hosting the Turkey Day celebration this year? Preparing a massive meal for your extended clan is no picnic. Add to that the task of decorating your home for the holiday and you may be wondering if you bit off more than you can chew. With time ticking down to the big day, now is the time to recruit the troops. Get your kids involved in the making simple decorations to embellish your Turkey Day buffet. The following Thanksgiving-themed projects are so easy you can have a houseful made in no time: PAPER … Continue reading

Crunching Thanksgiving Numbers

If you add the hours it takes for a 16-pound thawed turkey to cook with the amount of minutes it takes four hungry teens to devour an entire pumpkin pie, and then subtract the number of times you have to walk over to the kids’ table to break up a fight during Thanksgiving dinner, what do you come up with? In our house you get some cool holiday-inspired math activities. Just because kids are out of school for Thanksgiving break doesn’t mean their brains shouldn’t be exercised. Turn Turkey Day into an educational opportunity by encouraging your children to partake … Continue reading

Make Thanksgiving a Teachable Moment

Who says Thanksgiving is just a day set aside to expand your waistline? If you are a parent, consider using the holiday to broaden your kids’ minds. In many cases children are taught the history of Thanksgiving in class. They get generic lessons about the Mayflower, Plymouth Rock, Pilgrims and Indians, but far less time is spent schooling youngsters about the true meaning of the day—-gratitude. Whereas the first Thanksgiving took place in 1621, when Governor Bradford of the Plymouth colony appointed a day for public praise and prayer after the first harvest, the first national observance didn’t come until … Continue reading

Get Your Turkey Day Game On

Forget about playing Pilgrims and Indians. When you can host a Pumpkin Roll or a Turkey Hunt, dressing up is not nearly as fun. With Thanksgiving just a few days away, now is the time to pluck your brain for ways to keep your pint-sized guests entertained during the holiday. Some amusing ideas to keep the fun going long after the last piece of pumpkin pie has been devoured include: Turkey Hunt: Place turkey stickers on about 20 index cards and hide them around the house. Then, send children on a hunt to find the turkey cards. Award the player … Continue reading