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5 New Traditions You Should Start This Thanksgiving

Original Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving, or National Family History Day as it is now called, is upon us and in all the pomp and joy we often forget that it is the day to give thanks for what you have, particularly when it comes to a family with grandparents, parents, children, and grandchildren.

Mind you, the first ever Thanksgiving dinner was nearly 400 years ago and between the English Pilgrims and the Native Americans from different tribes in the region, a celebration of life and a pact of peace which was one of the only to survive more than 50 years. After the first corn harvest by the new settlers on their land, the Natives joined in a 3-day feast to celebrate the fact that they not only made it to the "promised land" but also made it through the winter and much of the year, a life owed greatly to the local tribes. These days, corn has been found to help with type 2 diabetes and kidney complications.

While the original menu is very much a mystery, though it is said to have included fowl and deer while the low sugar supplies along with the lack of oven meant no pies and baked sweets, it most certainly did not look like the tables set out in the modern day. Lobster, seal and swans were also on the menu, replaced by a simple turkey these days. Gobble Gobble. At least you can use the leftovers for a full week of food afterwards. I wonder what games they would have played, as football as a sport did not exist until November 6, 1869. No television sets either.

According to the National Network of Libraries of Medicine in the Pacific Northwest Region, if we have added turkey and football games to our thanksgiving traditions, it is about time to add a very important new addition as well. The U.S. Surgeon General has declared Thanksgiving to be National Family History Day, the day when everyone in the family gathers together to talk about everything that is important, particularly in relation to health. It should be something added to the table to ensure all generations are aware of what they are up against. a medical history of the whole family should be prepared and kept close, to be shared with a doctor. After all, the first Pilgrims gave thanks for surviving a harsh winter where many died of exposure, scurvy and other diseases that take root in the malnourished, particularly on the sea.

Modern Thanksgiving Traditions I Heartily Recommend

All right, you are no Pilgrim and you have not called your local native tribal leaders to take part in the feast. You have invited your family and closest relatives and have children running amok. What should you be doing today?

Wake up in your own time: Literally, pay attention to your own leisure. No need to scramble awake at 7 am. 9 am is perfectly fine and a healthy breakfast before starting with preparations is a must. A pumpkin spice low-fat cake you made the night before with cinnamon and honey tea sounds about perfect.

Play a game: Well, Huffpost recommends a family run but I am going to go with suggesting a family game. This means putting on your outdoor gear according to the weather, grabbing a ball or equipment of a favorite sport and spending the morning running back and forth laughing and hugging and simply being as silly as humanly possible. Both healthy for the body and the mind. It is not every day you have the family together all day.

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Grandparents and grandchildren: Grandparents have a soft spot for the youngest little gems in the family so include them all. Your parents, your in-laws, your children and all that jazz. have them picking vegetables, chopping things up, getting creative and decorating the table together. They will love it and so will you. After all, they dropped your workload to half its original size.

Crafts, Crafts, Crafts- a Family Mural: Children and adults alike love to create things. They love to decorate their homes with things they have made and love to show it all off. So why not sit down with the kids and adults in the family alike and make something unique. Drawings are easy and adding paint to it makes it fun. Why not a family mural with handprints used to pain a picture. It can be fun, messy, and absolutely full of memories. Throughout you would be laughing and reminiscing, sharing stories and making children's eyes pop with wonder.

Don't forget to give your thanks: A simple thank you is hard at any point if you are not used to uttering those two words. Sitting at that table, however, you are able to make the process easier. An article on MNN outlines a rather interesting activity where each member brings in 3 items that represent the 3 things they are grateful for. It doesn't matter how small or large these things may be. They can be events, objects, good grades, etc. It's an interesting way to discover something more about ourselves and those in our families.

What about some amazing recipes?

First of all, make sure you have chosen and prepared your turkey well!

Also, check out some of these great yummies described in previous stories:

Traditional modern side dishes you say? Check out what the Florida Hospital has to recommend for you.

How about some desserts with added nutrition?

Additional source: History Channel



In Australia we do not have thanksgiving. I guess we give thanks every day. The only turkey we had in the early settler days were brush turkeys. A recipe from the past mentioned boiling the brush turkey with a rock, and when the rock was soft the bird was ready for consumption. In the US 50 million turkeys will bite the dust. Not much reason for giving thanks there. They are pumped up with water, hormones, and antibiotics to make them grow bigger and fatter in a shorter period of time. All things to contemplate while everyone in the family gathers together to talk about everything that is important, particularly in relation to health. Talking about hunting, the first cows in the US arrived in 1624 in Plymouth Colony, New England, after disastrous crop failures, to supplement the food supply of the small colony. Hunting was not the success everyone thought it would be. In the winter animals were few and far between and hunger knocked on every door. The same happened in New Amsterdam under Peter Stuyvesant. Cattle were kept in an walled enclosure, (now Wall street) accessible through a broad thoroughfare (now Broadway) and slaughtering the animals kept many a settler alive. Plenty of reasons there to give thanks.
You are right, I never understood the turkey craze and it most definitely was not part of the original dinner. I do know that animals have kept people alive by providing every bit of their bodies for human use over the centuries. I suppose it is a thank you given to mother nature for ensuring animals are plentiful and edible. We would not want to starve to death, I'd assume :)