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Wasn't Thanksgiving easier when Mom took care of everything? If you're lucky you can be "thankful" this year to be able to kick back and watch football all day and eat turkey all night. But for most of us the reality is that there is shopping, cooking, and cleaning. And of course you'll want to keep your family traditions; while keeping it fun for the kids and keeping them out of the kitchen! We think some of the ideas we found on the Internet will be helpful in keeping Thanksgiving a sane and fun day.
The Family Planet (family.starwave.com/holiday/tgiving) may be the most comprehensive Thanksgiving site. It has dozens of helpful ideas so your holiday won't be a turkey. You'll find traditional recipes as well as games to play with the kids during that long drive through the woods to Grandma's house. Then there is the Thanksgiving e-card which you can send to your connected friends and family. It's free, easy and isn't as annoying as having to interrupt the football game with a telephone call to relatives. We also liked the kitchen safety section which offers tips for safe turkey preparation. We were able to pass these on to our friends who were preparing their first bird this year.
If you are preparing a turkey, what better site to go to than Butterball Online (www.butterball.com)? It's the one place that surfing and stuffing go hand-in-hand. You can also find New England Style Recipes (media3.com/plymouth/recipes.htm) if you're looking for more traditional Thanksgiving fare. We've never been a fan of cranberry sauce, but we do like Cranberry muffins. Here you'll find recipes for those as well as recommendations for Cranberry wines and directions for preparing New England style turkey and stuffing.
Thanksgiving at Home (www.homearts.com/depts/food/thanksc1.htm) has put together a package of holiday hints and recipes to assist you in making this holiday a special one. Here you'll find a link to Redbook's "Survival Guide to Thanksgiving" (www.homearts.com/rb/food/11survf1.htm) which promises that just a little time on Tuesday and Wednesday will get you set for your feast. Good luck!
To keep the kids amused check out Heather's Happy Thanksgiving Pages For Kids Only (www.shadeslanding.com/hms/thanks) If you can catch Tom Turkey you can decide his fate. There's also a Thanksgiving Puzzle (www.neosoft.com/~jrpotter/thanks.html) page with links to other puzzles which will keep kids of all ages occupied until dinner is served.
An American Thanksgiving for Kids and Families (www.night.net/thanksgiving) offers more tips on food and fun for the holiday. The section on the first Thanksgiving gives insight to the origins of this holiday in America. Plus, if you're responsible for saying grace check out the page devoted to Thanksgiving Grace (www.night.net/thanksgiving/grace.html).
And when eating that meal don't forget to follow the Etiquette For Eating Turkey (www.homearts.com/gh/advice/11postb5.htm) which answers the question of whether it's appropriate to pick up that drumstick and eat it with your fingers (they say it isn't OK). Just in case you drop your Mother-In-Laws precious china candy dish you can surf to F.C.P.R., a company specializing in fine china and porcelain repair (infoweb.magi.com/~fcpr/fcprhome.html). And they're conveniently located in Russell, Ontario! For an offbeat look at this day of thanks surf to Kaplan's Turkey on the Web: A Very Geek Thanksgiving (www.kaplan.com/holiday/turkey.html). Here you can download your FREE copy of Spin the Turkey. We admit it's an addictive waste of time. Don't forget to enter their Turkey of a Turkey Day Contest. Use the handy entry form to send a description, in 200 words or less, of your turkey-day plans. If your plans are the saddest or lamest you'll win! The deadline is midnight (EST) Thanksgiving so get writing. We thought this was great for some of our single friends!
If you will be traveling for the holiday take a look at the Shoestring Travel site (www.stratpub.com/shoe1.html). You'll find lots of tips for traveling inexpensively in this e-zine. For a laugh, check out the classic David Letterman Top 10 "Things Overheard at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade" (www.cbs.com/lateshow/lists/941125.html). Or browse the Butterball Turkey Trivia Page (www.butterball.com/butterball/trivia.html).
With all the activities going on surrounding this holiday it's easy to forget the origins of Thanksgiving. The Thanksgiving holiday is traced back to the Pilgrims and Plymouth Rock. View the text to Pilgrim's Progress (www.teachersoft.com/Library/lit/bunyan/contents.htm) or take a look at the official tour guide and historical reference for Plymouth (media3.com/plymouth) and the surrounding area. Don't forget to look at the "The First Thanksgiving" page for an intriguing look at this holiday - it may not be what you learned in elementary school!
Finally, we should try not to forget to embrace the real meaning of Thanksgiving each year. Sometimes we get caught up in the cooking, cleaning and mayhem of the holidays and it's easy to forget what it's all about. We found the Family Feast site (family.starwave.com/experts/faull/archive/fa110895.html) helped us put it in perspective. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
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