Traditional foods are a large part of Thanksgiving celebrations. Many families include the entire family in the food preparation. Traditional foods include turkey, stuffing, gravy, sweet potatoes, cornbread, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. Many people serve pie for dessert at the end of the meal. Popular pie flavors are pumpkin, pecan, sweet potato, and apple.
Some families choose to serve vegetarian Thanksgiving dinners instead of a stuffed turkey. Some people eat vegetarian turkey, which is made out of tofu. Others prefer to eat squash, salads, or other fruit and vegetable dishes.
Some families include breaking the turkey's wishbone as part of their celebration. The wishbone is found attached to the breast meat in the turkey's chest. After the meat has been removed and the wishbone has had a chance to become dry and brittle, two people each take one end of the bone, make a wish, and pull. Whoever ends up with the larger part of the bone gets their wish!
Get creative. Watch Free Birds, which loosely parallels the United States' Thanksgiving tradition of pardoning turkeys. Then, get your kiddos involved in a little bit of creative writing. Ask them to take on the persona of a turkey who is vying for that coveted spot of being pardoned to a life of luxurious retirement. To challenge them, ask your children to develop a specific voice. How would a turkey in this situation share his or her plea? Would it be most effective to be humorous, desperate, cunning, argumentative, defensive, or despondent? Write along with your child(ren), and have fun laughing as you share your responses.
6. Top 10 List
It's always nice to have quality discussion material to share at the Thanksgiving dinner table. A fun activity is always creating a Top 10 list of what your kids are most thankful for; after all, that's the purpose of the holiday. Talk with your older children about how our culture is very materialistic and "me-centered" and how it's a blessing to have a day set aside to remind us of everything we often take for granted. For an added level of difficulty or intrigue, you could, together, research Thanksgiving and write down the Top 10 most interesting facts about the holiday.
It's important to show our children that learning is fun. That it applies to the holidays. That reading, writing, and discussing what we are learning can be a cherished tradition to look forward to annually. Try one (or more) of these ideas this Thanksgiving, and make some memories you can share year after year.