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McCormack: Why We Celebrate Thanksgiving

Why we celebrate Thanksgiving and ways the kids can help.

For many of us, all the holiday hecticness is part of what makes Thanksgiving a favorite holiday because it ties back to what’s important in our lives, bringing together friends and family with one common meaning; to give thanks for our blessings and our harvest. Imagine, what would it be like if President Abraham Lincoln never made Thanksgiving a national holiday?

Among all the chatter around the table this Thursday have a few "Why We Celebrate Thanksgiving Day" facts top of mind as the kids play games, work on holiday crafts and watch the parade.

Why We Celebrate Thanksgiving

  • The first Thanksgiving came about during 1621, Plymouth Colony’s the first year in America. Together the Pilgrims and the natives celebrated and gave thanks for their plentiful first harvest.
  • In 1863 during the Civil War President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that Thanksgiving should be a national Holiday.
  • The Wild Turkey is native to eastern states and is a symbol of the holiday. 

Clearly there so much more to learn about this holiday so check out National Geographic Kids for comprehensive facts regarding this historic and grateful time.

As for prepping for the day in the kitchen; kids love to contribute and feel needed. Here are some ways the kids can help with Thanksgiving.

Kids Can Help by:

  • washing veggies and fruit
  • measuring & mixing ingredients
  • rolling out the dough
  • making Thanksgiving place cards (love this on FamilyFun! Photo above)
  • setting the table
  • taste testing
  • cleaning up! DVRing the parade so you can watch it later in the day
  • creating an iPod list of holiday music
  • having the older kids come up with a list of games and activities to entertain the younger one’s

One of my fondest memories of Thanksgivings growing up are of my Uncle Bob. Uncle Bob and I would always work on dishwasher duty together after we feasted. It was a fun honor to work as his wing man as he typically runs one of the tightest ships known to man. Who better to learn to strategically load a dishwasher from, right? Whatever is in store for you this holiday be sure to enjoy yourself. Happy Thanksgiving!

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