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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