Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Giving Thanks with Turkey Cupcakes

Betty Crocker's Turkey CupcakesThanksgiving is celebrated in different ways around the world but many cultures (and countries) have a harvest festival where people give thanks for their crops.

In the United States, we’ve been celebrating some form of Thanksgiving celebrations since the Pilgrims. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln made it a national holiday.

For many families, the centerpiece of the holiday is a meal shared with friends and family at which they remember – and give thanks – for all the good things in their lives. No matter what is served – turkey, stuffing, cranberries, and gravy are just some of the usual suspects – the point of the meal is to share it and give thanks.

In our family, we eat a traditional turkey dinner but we also play a game of either soccer or football (weather permitting). In the evening board games usually make an appearance. Every year we like to add a new element. This year, Betty Crocker’s Turkey Cupcakes made a wacky debut on the dessert table. They were as fun to decorate as they were to eat (I should know – I ate three!)

This year, I gave thanks not only for my family, my friends, and my jobs but also for these Turkey Cupcakes and the big laugh they gave me.

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Thanksgiving Books

The First ThanksgivingGearing up the holidays with your children? Here are a few book ideas to share with them. You’ll be teaching them about the meaning of Thanksgiving, sharing quality time, and getting them hooked on books!

Here are a few of my favorite Thanksgiving books.

The First Thanksgiving by Linda Hayward, illustrated by James Watling

Thanks for Giving by Abby Klein, illustrated by John McKinley

Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving by Joseph Bruchac, illustrated by Greg Shed

The Silly Turkey Party by Steve Metzger, illustrated by Jim Paillot

Clifford Thanksgiving Parade by Maria S. Barbo, illustrated by Artful Doodlers (available from Scholastic Book Fairs).

For more book ideas, read Scholastic’s blog on the subject.

Happy reading!

 

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Thanksgiving Around the World

Thanksgiving

Photo UC Davis Health System

Few holidays have more of a food-focus than Thanksgiving.  

Ask any child what the most remarkable thing about Thanksgiving is and they’ll tell you it’s the quantity of food that is consumed around the dining room table, from the massive turkey to the creamy pumpkin pies.  

But it is important to remember that the real message of Thanksgiving – for harried parents and hungry kids – is gratitude, and gratitude is a common sentiment across cultures.  

While there may not be Pilgrims or cranberries fresh from a can, many nations have some sort of “thanksgiving” celebration in which they show their gratitude for a successful harvest. 

Pongal is a harvest festival in South India that celebrates the contributions of people, the sun, the rain, and even the cattle in providing a successful harvest.  

The Pongal Festival lasts for four days in mid-January.  On the first day, old clothes are thrown away or burned to indicate that a new life has begun.  

On the second day, rice or milk is boiled in new pots until it boils over.  This signifies the hope that the new harvest will produce plenty of food for everyone.  

On the third day, families wash and adorn their cows and buffalo to show their appreciation for the animals’ labor in producing a good harvest. 

Finally, on the fourth day families celebrate with a picnic.

In China and Vietnam, families celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, in September with a feast.  

The highlights of the meal are mooncakes, spongy cakes made from bean paste or lotus and imprinted with designs.  

The holiday is also marked by carrying lanterns and revering the moon.

Many people in Africa celebrate in late August when the first crop of the season, the yam, is harvested.  

People wear masks, often made from grass and leaves, listen to music, and dance.  

In Ghana, the celebration is called the Homowo Festival and it literally means “hooting at hunger.”

However and whenever you celebrate, it’s always worthwhile to give thanks and share with others. 

Moon Festival

IndoChina Oddyssey Tours

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