Ideas for Expressing Gratitude this Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

This week, we are just bursting with gratitude for all of the blessings we’ve received throughout the year and excited to get to spend the holiday weekend in the company of family and friends. In honor of Thanksgiving, we pulled together some amazing, crafty (but simple!) ways to express your gratitude this year.

1. Free Thanksgiving printable place setting cards

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This beautiful set of place setting cards from our sister site, BlueMountain.com, offers 4 different designs to choose from to customize to your Thanksgiving tablescape design. Visit their blog to view and print their free “I am Thankful For…” printables.

2. The thankful tree

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We loved this idea from Simply Vintagegirl to cut out various patterns of scrapbook paper into small circular designs and use a hole-punch to create the hanging hook. Gather some branches from the yard and have your guests write what they’re thankful for this year and place their happy sentiment on the tree.

3. (More!) Free Thanksgiving printables

Cardstore printables Ideas for Expressing Gratitude this Thanksgiving

With these free Thanksgiving printables from another one of our sister sites, Cardstore.com, you can customize and print your entire Thanksgiving menu, as well as a place card and thankful card. They’ve also included a napkin ring and feather detail that you can print!

4. Thumbprint thankful tree

IMG 0157 Ideas for Expressing Gratitude this Thanksgiving

We loved reading about this twist on the wedding thumbprint trend. While doing leaf prints with her kids, Little Page Turners decided to make a thumbprint thankful tree with her kids. Have your guests add their thumbprints upon their arrival for Thanksgiving dinner and you’ll have an amazing keepsake to remind you of the happy holiday you spent together!

5. “I am thankful for…” pumpkin craft

IMG 2282 Ideas for Expressing Gratitude this Thanksgiving

This simple construction paper craft from The Moffatt Girls doesn’t take a lot of time, but the results is an adorable 3-D design that can also double as a dinner placecard!

6. Thankful jar with metallic rocks

Thankful Jar and Metallic Rock Filler Ideas for Expressing Gratitude this Thanksgiving

This thankful jar from Anne at One She Two She is a simple way to collect what everyone is grateful this year and display it throughout the year. We loved not only the design on the jar, but how pretty the metallic river rocks looked inside of it!

Do you have a creative way that you’ll be expressing your gratitude this Thanksgiving? We’d love to hear your ideas!

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Free Printable Thanksgiving Recipes… from our family to yours!

AG Recipe card blog post image FB Free Printable Thanksgiving Recipes... from our family to yours!

With Thanksgiving fast approaching and the rest of the holiday season right around the corner, there will undoubtedly be many family get-togethers and friendly dinners you will be invited to, which means it’s time to start thinking of some new side dishes to share with the group! With this in mind, we decided to make some free printable Thanksgiving recipe cards featuring some of our American Greetings associates’ favorite family recipes.  We  tried to select a few that seemed equal parts delicious and easy to prepare!

1. Spicy Chicken Dip:

Chicken Dip Recipe Card Front 1024x613 Free Printable Thanksgiving Recipes... from our family to yours!

This comes to us from the kitchen of Christine Stefanick and is a surefire winner during pre-dinner appetizers or any of the many football games thoughout the day! Click here to download and print the full-size, double-sided recipe card.

2. Squash Casserole:

Squash Casserole Recipe Card Front1 1024x613 Free Printable Thanksgiving Recipes... from our family to yours!

We’re sure you’ve had squash casserole before, but this one adds in two of our favorite things in an amazing way–bread stuffing and cheese! To view the full recipe card and print it for yourself, click here! This tasty recipe is courtesy of American Greetings associate Dana Hunt!

3. Better Than Waldorf Salad:

Waldorf Salad Recipe Card Front 1024x613 Free Printable Thanksgiving Recipes... from our family to yours!
From the kitchen of Sue Tischler, this upgraded Waldorf Salad recipe adds pineapple, cherries, and marshmallow cream to create a delightful side dish that’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Download and print the full recipe card here!

What’s your favorite family recipe? We’d love to hear in the comments!

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Top 5 Black Friday Shopping Tips

11282013 black friday blg ag Top 5 Black Friday Shopping Tips

Get your credit cards at the ready! Here we go–another round of Black Friday mayhem is about to commence!

There’s just something about the magical phrase “70-percent off” that sends humans into a crazed state of frenzy, so if you’re one of the brave souls heading out (or camping out) into the wee hours today, here are some helpful Black Friday shopping tips for surviving the shopping day to end all shopping days.

  1. What to wear Leave the stilettos at home– this is no time for high fashion. You gotta’ wear your comfortable, all-day-traction trekkers to stay ahead of the black Friday race (or even–dare we say it?!) Crocs with socks!
  2. Sustenance: Munch early and often; the last thing you want is to become hungry, dehydrated and irritable and lose valuable shopping energy. Keep a water bottle and snacks in your purse, or deck yourself out with one of those hat helmets with straws for hands-free sippin.’
  3. Buddy System: Shop with a friend! A buddy can take your place in line in you have to go to the bathroom, OR you can wear an adult diaper so you can hold your place in line while not having to hold your bladder. No one will know, and who cares—you just scored 80% off; that’s worth secretly peeing in your pants for. (We kid! We kid!)
  4. Know your territory: You might THINK you know the store layout, but on a day as huge as this, big ticket items often get moved to the end of aisles or put up closer to the front, so make sure you keep your eyes moving as you make your mad dash thru the store or you just might miss out on the deal you slept all night in a parking lot for.
  5. Get Appy: The last thing you want is to lug your huge flat screen to the curb and have no idea where you parked your car. Use a GPS car-locator app so you’re not stumbling around a crowded parking lot. Or better yet—have your buddy meet you curbside for easy loading of all your goodies.

Most importantly—keep calm, be kind and carry on shopping!

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Top 5 Black Friday Shopping Tips

11282013 black friday blg ag Top 5 Black Friday Shopping Tips

Get your credit cards at the ready! Here we go–another round of Black Friday mayhem is about to commence!

There’s just something about the magical phrase “70-percent off” that sends humans into a crazed state of frenzy, so if you’re one of the brave souls heading out (or camping out) into the wee hours today, here are some helpful Black Friday shopping tips for surviving the shopping day to end all shopping days.

  1. What to wear Leave the stilettos at home– this is no time for high fashion. You gotta’ wear your comfortable, all-day-traction trekkers to stay ahead of the black Friday race (or even–dare we say it?!) Crocs with socks!
  2. Sustenance: Munch early and often; the last thing you want is to become hungry, dehydrated and irritable and lose valuable shopping energy. Keep a water bottle and snacks in your purse, or deck yourself out with one of those hat helmets with straws for hands-free sippin.’
  3. Buddy System: Shop with a friend! A buddy can take your place in line in you have to go to the bathroom, OR you can wear an adult diaper so you can hold your place in line while not having to hold your bladder. No one will know, and who cares—you just scored 80% off; that’s worth secretly peeing in your pants for. (We kid! We kid!)
  4. Know your territory: You might THINK you know the store layout, but on a day as huge as this, big ticket items often get moved to the end of aisles or put up closer to the front, so make sure you keep your eyes moving as you make your mad dash thru the store or you just might miss out on the deal you slept all night in a parking lot for.
  5. Get Appy: The last thing you want is to lug your huge flat screen to the curb and have no idea where you parked your car. Use a GPS car-locator app so you’re not stumbling around a crowded parking lot. Or better yet—have your buddy meet you curbside for easy loading of all your goodies.

Most importantly—keep calm, be kind and carry on shopping!

 

What’s your best Black Friday shopping tip? Tell us in the comments or tweet us @amgreetings!

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Our Great Holiday Debate: Do you ‘Respect the Turkey?’

11222013 respect the turkey blg ag Our Great Holiday Debate: Do you ‘Respect the Turkey?’

The minute those Jack-o-lanterns are extinguished, it seems that it’s become the beginning of an all-out merrymaker showdown between Thanksgiving and Christmas!

In one corner, we have the sound of witches cackling spinning on their heels and transforming magically into strains of Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas.” In the opposing corner, the hunt for one’s favorite Halloween candy quickly shifts to a seriously-focused itinerary of looking for just the right turkey, cranberries, and those crunchy fried onions for the ever-popular Thanksgiving string-bean casserole.

With the holidays approaching earlier and earlier each year, these two sides fuel the great debate about “respecting the turkey” and giving Thanksgiving its due diligence, or diving head-first into Tinseltown and all things twinkly.

So, where do you stand? Do you defiantly refuse to listen to the jingle jangle of Christmas music until the day after Thanksgiving, thus giving Thanksgiving its rightful spot on the calendar? Or are you just so uber-excited to get your Christmas on that you blare those holiday tunes loud and proud and go to town decorating  like Buddy the Elf the minute October waves goodbye?

Let us know—we’ll be here waiting with a turkey leg in one hand and a candy cane in the other!

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A letter from Kathy Davis: Thanksgiving every day

kdsthanksgiving A letter from Kathy Davis: Thanksgiving every day

As I prepare to send my Thanksgiving greeting cards, I’m thinking about how much I love this special time of year! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, not just because of all the great food, but because it’s about gratitude.  Lately, I’ve been trying to be a little more mindful about the idea of gratitude, and I’m trying to be thankful every day.

Some of the things I’m thankful for right now? The blaze of mums blossoming and brightening the landscape. The amazing late afternoon sunsets and the harvest moon. Fresh picked apples and spiced wafers. Lighting candles and sitting by the fire on a chilly evening. And the anticipation of sharing the all-American holiday of Thanksgiving with our family.

One of our favorite Thanksgiving traditions is watching the parade. Philadelphia’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is the oldest one in America! Our parade dates back to 1920, and it’s a great event – a visual feast filled with imaginative floats, giant balloons, marching bands and of course, celebrities.

And every year when our family gathers for Thanksgiving dinner — before we carve the turkey and dip into the cranberry sauce — each person at the table says a few words about what he or she is thankful for. It’s a great tradition, because for me, it always provides inspiration to think about the blessings I may have forgotten to appreciate.

Wishing each one of you an abundance of Thanksgiving blessings!

What are your favorite family traditions at Thanksgiving?

- Kathy Davis

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Thanksgiving Preparation Tips…

11192012 thanksgiving tips1 Thanksgiving Preparation Tips...

Holidays are filled with food and fun, but when you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner, it can be overwhelming.  We’d like to share some ideas for Thanksgiving to make the occasion less stressful, and give you more time to enjoy the day.  And we also included some helpful hints for your guests:

Create a countdown calendar to stay organized.   Make a list of what you need to do each day. Include things such as shopping, cleaning and decorating—as well as taking a little time for yourself.

Work on your grocery list early.  There’s no way to avoid crowds at the grocery store this week, but if you make a detailed list first that focuses on your recipes, shopping will be a snap!  Also consider purchasing a few gourmet-prepared foods to make cooking easier.

Plan out your cleaning time.  Family members can be a big help here, or if a close guest asks how they can help, why not suggest a pre-holiday “cleaning and coffee” get-together?

Simplify your decorating.   Make nature’s bounty the perfect accent by creating your own version of a cornucopia in a basket filled with luscious fruit, dried flowers and colorful leaves. Or spray leaves and pinecones with glitter shellac and arrange them around deep red and orange candles. Check out sites like pinterest for amazing inspiration, too.

Make a detailed schedule for food preparation.  Counting backwards for your Thanksgiving feast will let you know just how much time each item needs for preparation and cooking, and you’ll be able to devote the time in between to socializing with your guests.

Remember guest etiquette.   If you’re the guest this year, definitely find out what you can bring, but also remember not to crowd in the kitchen, and always help with cleanup.  Be sure to send a thoughtful thank you note afterwards, too.

Give thanks!  Finally, no matter what your beliefs, it’s nice to say a few words of gratitude before the meal.  After all, this day is about being thankful for life’s gifts.

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