Thanksgiving celebrations are part of American history. There are myths like the Indians weren't really invited but came after hearing gunshots when the pilgrims when hunting for fowl, as trust me … there weren't any grocery stores back then.
The Pilgrims celebrated an incredibly good harvest in 1621, which they needed to survive the winter. They appreciate the bounty after loosing half the people that came to Plymouth, Massachusetts by ship. In those days people died because they didn't have enough food.
You can learn a lot about Thanksgiving through some fun videos on History.com. They're fun for young children and you'll find them entertaining too.
The question is how will we change Thanksgiving?
Will we continue to celebrate family, friends & great food?
… or let Thanksgiving turn into another shopping day?
Each of us has the opportunity to continue the Thanksgiving traditions we grew up with, the ones we remember fondly today. We also have the chance to create new traditions for our children and the question is which you'll pick. Will you keep Thanksgiving as a day to relax with family and friends, and enjoy a feast of your favorite foods? or will you succumb to the shopping madness that has stores opening on Thanksgiving day?
So let's explore the Thanksgiving traditions we still have that maintain a focus on spending time with friends, family and a good meal, even if it's not the traditional turkey dinner. We've collected ideas from around the web, ways for you to spend a relaxing day home on Thursday night and what's become known as Black Friday. Please leave comments below with your favorite traditions and thoughts about today's Thanksgiving shopping!
Thanksgiving Celebrations For Thanksgiving Evening
Whether you have dinner in the afternoon or evening, it's common for everyone to hang out together after the big meal. You might even wait for dessert or in my family, enjoy leftover turkey sandwiches on small rolls about 10pm (don't laugh).
- There are lots of TV specials on Thanksgiving (see TV Guide for full lineup) starting with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Miracle on 34th Street, Dr Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!, Happiness is a Warm Blanket Charlie Brown and of course, football starts at 12:30pm with three games, so there's something for everyone.
- My family plays poker Thanksgiving evening as there's never a problem rounding up enough willing players. Of course the stakes aren't that high and when you run out of money, you get to continue playing for free.
- Some families gather around their favorite board game which brings back memories of earlier years, with the most popular games being Monopoly, Scrabble, Risk and Boggle.
- For those who want to take it a little slower, how about a new 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle, which my best friend loves so it's become a holiday tradition for her family.
Family Activities for Black Friday (Not Shopping)
- When families gather, the bakers love to share new recipes. It's fun to share the baking skills and excitement with the younger generation and what better time to do this than Thanksgiving weekend.
- Write a family letter for family and friends, to share the big news from your family. Everyone wants to see photos of your kids growing up, special vacation trips and the most memorable events of your year.
- Even better, if you can collect lots of photos, create a family “photo video” as everyone loves watching the kids grow up. Animoto lets you create 30 second videos (about 10 photos) for free.
- Make Friday a craft day where everyone makes gifts for the upcoming Christmas holidays. Gifts made with love are appreciated more by grandparents, parents and those recognize the thought put into making something.
- Go on a treasure hunt to find things around the house that aren't be used, pack them up and take them to a local homeless shelter. This is just one way of teach your children the meaning of giving back (learn more about Giving Tuesday where thousands of people are working to bring back the real meaning of Thanksgiving!)
Thanksgiving shouldn't be another shopping day
Keep our Thanksgiving traditions focused on family, great food and saying thanks!