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

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

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

Enforcing Family Togetherness on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving get-togethers used to be so much easier when the kids were little. Well, not in the sense of getting them ready and carting them around. But you could always count on the little ones entertaining everyone. Now that my kids and my nephews are teenagers, what often happens is that everyone disappears. So I am purposing to keep everyone together as much as possible this year. It was kind of a last minute decision but my family has ended up with the joy of hosting Thanksgiving. Despite not being as prepared as I would like, I am going into … 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

Planning for Thanksgiving

Yesterday morning I realized its Saturday, not earth shattering I know, but in the very next instant I realized it’s the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Do I have a turkey? Umm, no. Do I have pie ingredients? Again, the answer would be no. Holy cow how did this month get away from me? I have a method for preparing for all holiday dinners, it seems to serve me well so I thought I would share. First, I decide on the menu. Every family has things they have to have on the holiday table otherwise it’s not the holidays, for me, one … Continue reading

Making Thanksgiving Memories

For kids, Thanksgiving pales in comparison to holidays in which they get to unwrap more than just some silverware from a cloth napkin. In fact, for some youngsters Turkey Day can be downright boring. Save for stuffing herself with bird and her favorite pumpkin pie, my 7-year-old sees the holiday as simply the day before she can start using her red Sharpie to countdown to Christmas on the calendar. Of course, having whiny kids underfoot while trying to prepare a feast for 20 is no picnic for parents either. This is why it pays to be prepared. Keeping children entertained … Continue reading

How Do You Do Thanksgiving?

As Thanksgiving approaches, I have been reflecting on how the way that I have celebrated Thanksgiving has changed through the years. Each year has been enjoyable, but there have been a few changes along the way. When I was a child, my parents would pack my sister and I into the car and we would have a mid-day meal at one grandmother’s house and an evening meal at our other grandmother’s house. Both grandmothers lived in the same city which was near the town that we lived in, so the traveling was not a big deal. The food that was … Continue reading

Thanksgiving Decorations for Less

I just read an article that was sitting in my news feed. It was all about how much we generally spend during the holidays. There is no doubt that spending tends to increase quite a bit around the holidays. After all, there is all of the gifts, all of the food and all of the clothes. One thing that struck me out though, is how much people spend on decorations, from flowers to paper, from ornaments to lawn signs. Of course we want our homes to look good for the holidays, especially if we happen to be the ones who … Continue reading

Frugal Thanksgiving Fun

Whether you are having a huge Thanksgiving gathering or just your immediate family to dinner, it is fun to have a few Thanksgiving theme activities that you can enjoy. It will help keep everyone occupied when the you are all still waiting for the turkey to finish, create some new memories and just make a festive time. Friends and family don’t often get a chance to get together, so why not make the most of it with some planned but frugal fun? Thanksgiving activities don’t have to cost much or even anything at all. Here is a list of some … Continue reading