With the excitement of holiday gift giving just around the corner, it's easy to forget to pause and appreciate the simple good fortune our families have received however small or large over the past year.
Thanksgiving is the perfect occasion to reflect on and celebrate your family's "harvest".
Whether it is the health of your children and spouses/partners or a new career opportunity, a new endeavor or new home, the addition of a new member of the family or the mending of a relationship, there are many ways to talk with your children about what Thanksgiving means to your family.
Some families will celebrate on their own through a simple meal at home, others will travel to extended family or friends' houses for larger celebrations and reunions.
But no matter what type of celebration you'll be having, when planning your Thanksgiving, consider making your Thanksgiving a green one. You can incorporate locally and organically produced food into the menu, plan leftovers to avoid waste or do what many cultures in the U.S. already do: let guests bring home leftovers of their choice. You can avoid using disposable tableware, or use earth friendly disposable tableware that's recycled and recyclable.
In addition, you can send email invitations. You'll be sure they'll reach your guests in time and they don't use up paper, create waste or rely on auto emissions to get to their destination. Consider having a meatless Thanksgiving. If you do plan to serve turkey, Planet Green has a thorough rundown of turkeys, from organic to free range and cage free and what each designation means.
Meatless alternatives can range from Tofurky, a vegan meat alternative, to Roasted Pumpkin and Creamed Kale Lasagna or traditional comfort foods like vegetable lasagna and stuffed green peppers. Any delicious vegetarian main dish that serves a large group can work. Of course, it's a nice touch to adapt seasonal vegetables and favorite family recipes into your menu. Side dishes can be equally diverse and meatless too.
The delicious aromas will make keeping kids out of the kitchen a difficult task. So, welcome their help by letting them wash fruits, peel vegetables, measure, mix and stir, frost cakes, roll the dough, cut cookies, sprinkle decorations, and add the finishing touch of whipped cream. When you involve children in the dinner's menu planning, they can feel proud of their responsibility and will be more likely to enjoy the finished result.