What a blessing to celebrate Thanksgiving this week with family and friends. Though the year has passed quickly and has had many challenged filled opportunities, in reflection, I am blessed. I hope that before the day is filled with all the “to do’s” on your list you also, might find a moment to pause and count the good things in your life. I also acknowledge that there will be a void without our loved ones, and may we honor their lives with positive memories and stories. This is also a wonderful time to talk about gratitude, how can we implement being thankful every day? Here are some ideas you might like to try:
A Gratitude Jar: Gather lose change and choose a charity to give it to (could be each month or once a year).
Journaling can also be a great way to put in writing the blessings we have received. Or if the children are young, try making a paper chain with each link being something that they are thankful for.
If you are in the classroom, or have many children coming for your celebration, use pipe cleaners or colored popsicle sticks. Have the children draw a color, and each color represents a different category (friends, school, home, playtime, family, etc).
Try using all 5 senses in saying “thank you.” Have children practice all together, and then by themselves saying please and thank you. (Hearing)
Make a thanksgiving tree or wreath with personal things for which they are thankful. (Seeing)
During snack time or meal time, allow time to really smell and touch the foods, talk about the texture and the temperature, the size, shape and color. (Tasting)
Maybe you might give a high five or fist bump for actions that model being kind, generous and thankful.
Don’t forget when aroma is in the air, what do I smell that I can be thankful for?
Being thankful doesn’t just happen on its own. It is developed over time and reinforced with practice. Look for ways to incorporate gratitude in your next family gathering.
As we gather, I can almost smell the pies, the turkey, and all the trimmings. I would like to offer a website that hosts a lot of information, http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/types/turkey/index.html.
Whether you are the host, or bringing food to the gathering, please remember to keep food safety in mind so that everyone can enjoy the meal without concerns. In short:
Thaw all foods in the refrigerator, not on the counter. This requires planning your timetable ahead.
Do not wash the turkey prior to roasting. Use a meat thermometer and ensure a temperature of 165 degrees, you can’t tell by the color.
Let the turkey sit for 15-20 minutes to let the juices settle, before carving.
Enjoy your meal, but care for your leftovers quickly. Don’t let the food sit for more than two hours before getting it in shallow containers and back in the refrigerator. If you have more left overs than you will consume in 2-3 days, freeze the rest. (http://www.foodsafety.gov/blog/2014/11/turkey-tips-step-4-lets-loving-your-leftovers.html)
Remember that Pumpkin pie, is a custard and must be refrigerated to be safe.
If you don’t have access to the internet and would like for me to send you a copy of any information mentioned above, please give me a call at 330-264-8722. From all of us here at OSU Extension in Wayne County, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!