Everyone enjoys day Thanksgiving when they either start cooking in their own homes or travel to someone else's home for the holiday. Nothing beats the smell of a turkey baking in the oven and snacking on all of the goodies that are meant to stave off hunger pangs until the turkey is served.
The perfect day Thanksgiving meal consists of the traditional turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, squash, corn, cranberries and a dessert. All of these foods take many forms, as there are plenty of unique ways to prepare vegetables. Many families have a traditional dessert that they serve with their dinner such as a pumpkin or apple pie, special decorated cookies, fudge or a spice cake.
Snacks are a pre-requisite for day Thanksgiving. Favorite snack items include bowls of assorted nuts, nuts in the shell, Chex-mix, cookies, chocolates, fudge, potato chips and onion dip and pretzels. There are many pre-packaged snacks available in the grocery store if you don't have the time to prepare a baked snack yourself.
Many families enjoy Thanksgiving activities such as watching football games on television, especially if there is inclement weather. Other families get everyone together to play their own football games in their back yards or park. Children often enjoy playing outside and this keeps them out of the way while the adults are preparing the meal. Children can also be entertained by having plenty of board games available and offering toddler toys for smaller children. Children appreciate a separate room with a television set for them to watch movies and children's programming while waiting for dinner. It is also important for many families to capture this special event with Thanksgiving pictures to enjoy long after the celebration.
For many families, the decorations for day Thanksgiving are just as important as the meal itself. Table centerpieces are often made by hand and purchased ones can be just as elaborate. Favorite centerpieces include turkeys, flowers, candles, cornucopias and Thanksgiving themed place settings.
When dinner is finally served, family and friends can gather around the table and take their seats at the feast. Families that don't have a large enough table will use the proverbial children's table, which is usually the card table. For many children this is traditional and they wait patiently until they can earn a seat at the big table. Once the blessing is said everyone can dig into the feast and enjoy the meal that many family members have contributed to. It is also traditional to have two children make secret wishes and break the wishbone after the turkey has been carved. The child with the largest piece is supposed to have their wish come true.
After dinner many adults will head to the living room and watch a football game or a special program on the television. Many families will also head out to the local tree farm to select a Christmas tree and wreath for their homes. Once they return home they may set up the tree and cover it in lights then let the children decorate it.
Every family celebrates day Thanksgiving differently and there is no right or wrong way to do it. The true meaning of the celebration is to give thanks for all of the important things in life such as health and happiness for all celebrants.