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Thanksgiving Day History And Preparation

“Thanksgiving is nothing if not a glad and reverent lifting of the heart to God in honor and praise for His goodness.” ~ Robert Casper Lintner

I. History

The origin of Thanksgiving Day?

In the winter of 1620 at the Plymouth Plantation, what’s now called Massachusetts, the harvests had failed lead to half of the pilgrims had starved to death. Luckily for the rest, members of the local Wampanoag tribe taught the Pilgrims how to grow corn, beans, and squash (the Three Sisters); catch fish, and collect seafood. The next year, the harvest became a particularly successful growing season. Therefore, The religious refugees from England known as the Pilgrims invited the local Native Americans to a harvest feast.

The practice of holding an annual harvest festival did not become a regular affair until the late 1660s, what’s now called Massachusetts. It spread through the new country and was celebrated on different days in different communities until, in 1789, George Washington declared the first national Thanksgiving Day.

The revolution of Thanksgiving proclamations

Thanksgiving proclamations were made mostly by church leaders in New England up until 1682.

That time all states scheduled their own Thanksgiving holidays at different times, some as early as October and others as late as January.

In 1846, author Sarah Josepha Hale waged a one-woman campaign for Thanksgiving to be recognized as a truly national holiday. Hale’s advocacy for the national holiday lasted 17 years and four presidencies before the letter she wrote to Lincoln was successful. In 1863 at the height of the Civil War he supported legislation, which established a national holiday of Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November

How has Thanksgiving become nowadays?

Nowadays, Thanksgiving has become an official holiday in the USA. Traditional foods are a large part of Thanksgiving celebrations. Many families include the entire family in the food preparation.


II. Meal with your families

A family reunion is known as one of the best things about Thanksgiving. No matter how far you live from your family or long distances travel by car, train, or plane, members always want to be with their loved ones on this day. Therefore, Thanksgiving is said to be the busiest travel day of the year!

1. Food & Drink recipe recommended:

Turkey, stuffing, gravy, sweet potatoes, cornbread, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce…

– The tradition of Turkey in Thanksgiving: Turkey is this day meal’s spirit. Do you ever wonder how is the turkey chosen? Dating back to at least 1947, US presidents were gifted with turkeys at Thanksgiving. Ronald Reagan was the first president to “pardon” a Thanksgiving turkey, in 1987. Since 2013, both fortunate birds are sent to live at Virginia USA.

– Besides Turkey, you can replace Turkey by ham, goose, and duck

– Stuffing: a mix of bread cubes, chopped celery, carrots, onions and sage stuffed inside the turkey for roasting. Chestnuts, chopped bacon or sausage, and raisins or apples are also sometimes included in the stuffing. Prepare to stuff for the turkey (if you’re stuffing the turkey) and/or the dressing to cook on the side.

– Pies: Many people serve pie for dessert at the end of the meal. Popular flavors are pumpkin – the most popular one, pecan, sweet potato, and apple.

– Drink:

  • Cocktails: Ice Cream Cocktail, Cranberry Champagne Cocktail, Spiked, Apple Cider Cocktails…
  • Other: Cafe Mexicano, Mulled Wine, Cranberry Vodka Tonics…

2. Preparation: the day before Thanksgiving

  • Prepare large enough tables if your family is the big one. Not too many tables for the warming up feel.
  • Set up extra hangers.
  • Try to finish any remaining baking, including apple or pecan pies.
  • For not to go out of the plan, calculate your cooking time for the day.
  • Figure out what can’t be cooked in terms of temperature or space. Those things should be finished before the turkey is done.

3. How to cook the meal:

– First off:

  • Prepare your vegetables for clean-meal then peel and chop. Put them in the refrigerator for long preservation.
  • Boil and mash potatoes and them. You can reheat before serving.
  • Don’t forget to stuff the turkey. Next is to get it in the oven according to the schedule.

– Then:

  • Just before the turkey’s done, you should begin to cook fresh vegetables
  • Get anything else that needs to go into the oven ready is necessary (stuffing, store-bought rolls, etc.)

– While the cooked turkey is resting:

  • Put a foil tent over the turkey, this lets you have an hour to do the remaining cook.
  • Put it in right then if you have a pan of stuffing/dressing on the side to bake.
  • One thing can’t be forgotten: warm whatever needs to be warmed, including mashed potatoes, rolls, soups, and casseroles. Remember to recook frozen vegetables.
  • The last thing is to make the gravy.

– Now everything has been prepared perfectly for that reunion meal. Don’t hesitate to press guests into service to put food in bowls, open wine bottles, fill glasses and dish up the cranberry sauce.

Tips: Don’t spend the meal running back and forth to the kitchen.

4. After the meal: Activities recommended

– Films and Books:

  • Films: You should find films which are suitable for family members in all ages: For both the elders, adults such as: National Lampoon’s Holiday Reunion (2003). Kids can watch other films such as: A Winnie the Pooh Thanksgiving (1998)
  • Books: Books are what gather the children all around. It is suggested that the adults should read aloud for the children, it would be more meaningful. Recommend: The night before Thanksgiving,

– Giving gifts: Long time no see, it will warm up somehow your relationship even more by giving gifts to each other.

We recommend gifts for beer/wine lovers for men (Read our article: 10 Best Gifts For Wine Lovers 2017 and 10 Best Gifts Idea For Beer Lovers 2017). There are many other previous articles to check out too. Hope you can find what you need!


III. Activities when gathering with friends

A definitely perfect day to gather with your friends! Do you want a big party or a small warming meet?

– Games: Here we have 5 most funny and easy-playing games with description.

+ Thanksgiving Dinner: Your memory and knowledge in food decide your fate.

First, everyone sits in a circle. The the first one starts by saying, “At Thanksgiving dinner, I like to eat turkey”. The next player repeats, “At Thanksgiving dinner, I like to eat turkey…” and the add another dish. All takes turn clockwise and each one recites the dishes in the exact order before and adds a new one. When a player makes a mistake, they lost and slide out of the circle. The last one who stays in the circle is the winner.

+ Popcorn Toss: This game builds up couple.

2 players make a team. Then each team is given a cup full of popcorn. What you have to do is to toss the popcorn into the other’s mouth. The team finishes the game first is the winning team.

You can replace popcorn by other things such as cranberries.

+ Thanksgiving Memory: Another good memory test game!

Gather Thanksgiving items similarly to fall and harvest items such as a mini pumpkin, a cranberry, colored corn husk, pie server or even TV remote. Put them on a cookie sheet and cover that cookie sheet with a dishtowel then put it aside. Each person has a pencil and paper. In just half a minute or a minute, uncover the items and let everyone look at them without writing anything down. After the timer goes off, you have to cover up the cookie sheet. In the next 3 or 5 minutes. Everyone writes down what they remembered. The winner is who remembers the most items.

+ Roll the Gourd: An interesting outside activities and you need a yard or a garage.

This is a simple race using pumpkins. We need plenty of rooms, as pumpkins are not nice smooth balls, which can’t roll in nice straight lines. About four large pumpkins and four sturdy sticks for four teams. This relay race happens like this: The racers, first line up on the starting line and wait for the signal. The signal comes; the racers use the stick to roll the pumpkins to the finish line. Each player gets three chances to roll the gourd into the pins as the gourds go every which way but straight.

Tips: You can use small pumpkins if you want to play inside.

+ Thanksgiving Thankful Charades: A time to thanks for your what you have.

Before the day up to Thanksgiving, maybe one week, the leader asks everyone to write down something that they are thankful for such as friends’ help. No matter how big or small. Add the papers in a jar throughout the week. On Thanksgiving Day, pull the papers out of the jar and have people try guessing who wrote what. After the Thanksgiving meal, this can bring up wonderful thankful words and why other people read the paper, other have time to think about what they are most thankful for.

+ Bird, Beast, or Fish: A game requires your quick mind

There is one leader and everyone sits facing the leader. The leader points to one arbitrary player and says “beast” or “beauty” The chosen player must come up with the name of an imaginary beast in movies that fit the category “beast” or a beauty such as Elsa for the beauty category. The time each saying is ten seconds. No repeating is accepted! If the player responds out of 10 secs, the player is out. Until only one-player remains, we can find the winner. After a few rounds, there won’t be many names left that have not already been mentioned!

Gifts for winners: Check out our previous article on Best gift ideas for Thanksgiving


Enjoy your Thanksgiving Day with your family and friends! Some memories are unforgettable, remaining ever vivid and heartwarming! Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.

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