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

More Hands-On Thanksgiving Fun

For most families, Thanksgiving activities are traditionally relegated to eating, watching football on TV, napping and talking. Not exactly a fun-filled day if you are a kid. If you are planning to host the Turkey Day spread this year, you might consider including activities to entertain your youngest guests. By doing so you will not only make the holiday a memorable occasion for children, but also, by keeping them busy you can spend more time making merry with adult guests rather than breaking up fights and listening to a chorus of whines. These low-budget kid-friendly crafts will keep your pint-sized … 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

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

Putting Kids to Work During Thanksgiving Break

When you are cooking Thanksgiving dinner for 30 guests, there’s no room for pride. Don’t be afraid to ask for help in the kitchen… and other parts of the house. One of the biggest mistakes stressed out parents make during the chaotic countdown to turkey carving is letting their kids run around aimlessly when they could be helping with a myriad of holiday preparations. For example, even very young kids, can lend a hand when it comes to crafting decorations for your Turkey Day feast. Simply line a table with newspaper and let kids go to town making their own … Continue reading

Thanksgiving Boredom Busters for Kids

Today was the last day of school for many kids in our area. Thanksgiving break is now officially underway. That’s great news for students, but for harried parents trying to prepare their homes for Turkey Day guests having a bunch of bored children underfoot can be a holiday nightmare. If you are looking for ways to preserve your sanity while the kids are home next week, consider these fun Thanksgiving-themed activities that will yield hours of fun and some nifty holiday decorations in the process: HOMEMADE INDIAN CORN Materials: Green and yellow construction paper Scissors Craft glue Dried beans Pencil … Continue reading

Pilgrim Party

When my daughter was a preschooler she would countdown to Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas by watching the Peanuts Holiday Treasury DVD. I’m pretty sure that’s why she suggested we skip the turkey, and instead dine on toast, pretzels, jelly beans and popcorn on Thanksgiving night. However, last year she added a new Charlie Brown video to her holiday repertoire: “The Mayflower Voyagers.” The animated show gives a kid-friendly overview about what the First Settlers endured to get to America and what it took to pull of the very first Thanksgiving celebration. Shortly after watching the DVD, my daughter started referring … Continue reading

Thanksgiving Fun with Feathers

T-minus 10 days until Turkey Day. In my house the adults are running around like decapitated chickens while the kids watch and wonder what all the fuss is about. If you are hosting pint-sized out-of-town guests like we are, then the following Thanksgiving activities are your ticket to getting little ones to lend a hand. Who knew that leftover toilet paper rolls, some construction paper feathers and a box of Rice Krispies could turn a Turkey Day buffet into a kid-friendly holiday oasis? TOILET PAPER TUBE TURKEY Materials: Empty roll of toilet paper or paper towel Red, yellow, and orange … Continue reading