Taking Stock at the Thanksgiving Table
on her. The loss of such an integral family member serves as a reminder to spend more time with our loved ones while we’re still around. Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to reconnect and be grateful for those we love. I’m lucky to have had parents who taught us the importance of gratitude. It’s been a difficult year, but I’m still thankful for so much. Of course, there’s my family, steadily growing and learning together, and my mother, who I still think of every day. And I don’t want to exclude my father, who will certainly be there at the table this year. He’s been a massively important influence every step of the way. I hope you get the chance to reflect on your own blessings this Thanksgiving. It’s all too easy to take the people around us for granted, not to mention our health and happiness. But this holiday encourages us to stop, look around, and be thankful for the abundance in each of our lives.
constant support and efforts to wrangle the family, Thanksgiving is sure to be a lighter affair, with fewer members of the family making the trip out. As always, the invitation is going to go out to everybody, but I’m afraid that in my mother’s absence, it’s likely that certain parts of the family will grow apart. Nonetheless, we’re still dedicated to getting the family together to keep the tradition going. As my mother’s health declined over the past few years, I began to take on more responsibility in the Thanksgiving kitchen. I’d help her with what I knew, and if I didn’t know how to cook something just the way she liked it, I’d have her teach me. It felt like she was passing the baton to the next generation. Although, this implies that I’m the one in charge this Thanksgiving, which is a daunting prospect.
Thanksgiving has always been a memorable holiday in the Russo family. It’s been a long- standing tradition for us to gather as many members of the clan as possible, packing 20–30 people into one house, laughing, catching up, and chowing down on some of the best food of the year. Then, of course, we’d plop down on the couch in our post-feast catatonic state and watch some football with my cousins, aunts, and uncles. I have fond memories of these legendary Russo gatherings. The festivities always revolved around my mom, who would spend all day cooking mashed potatoes, turkey, and so many sides it was hard to imagine it all coming from a single person. She did have helpers, though, and many people brought their signature dishes. Nonetheless, she was the center of the operation.
My mother’s absence is sure to be felt on the 23rd by all of us who loved and depended
With my mother’s passing in February, this year is going to be different. Without her
“The loss of such an integral family member serves as a reminder to spend more time with our loved ones while we’re still around.“
— Dr. Michael Russo
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Unless you have a child auditioning for “MasterChef Junior,” you’re probably not going to let the little ones cook the turkey this Thanksgiving. Just because the kitchen might be off limits, though, doesn’t mean you can’t find a few creative ways to make the holiday extra special for your kids. Spice up Thanksgiving with these fun, family-friendly activities. Coloring-Book Tablecloths If you have a big family, you are probably familiar with the Thanksgiving tradition of the kids’ table. It may be smaller than the grown-ups seating arrangement, but it doesn’t have to be any less special. Turn your kids’ table into a canvas for a colorful, creative dining experience. To do this, use craft or art paper to cover the table. Tape everything down tightly and provide crayons and colored pencils for every place setting. If you want to add some extra holiday spirit, put the drawing supplies in empty cranberry sauce and pumpkin cans. Gratitude Mobiles Of course, Thanksgiving isn’t just about delicious food. It’s also about reflecting on the parts of our lives we are grateful for. Teaching kids about gratitude is the most valuable Thanksgiving lesson. Bring that concept to life with a gratitude mobile. Grab some colored paper circles —or cut them out —and have your children write down things that they are thankful for. A silver Sharpie is great for this. Punch holes in the tops of the circles and run string through them. Tie the other end of the string to a coat hanger or embroidery hoop and hang it from the ceiling. 3 Family Activities Patient Success Story “Whenmy condition started, it was very bad. I had very strong pain, and it felt like pins and needles. I could not movemy neck due tomy limited range of motion and the intensity of the pain. It was unbearable and stressful, to the point where I couldn’t sleepmore than two hours. Because of this, I could not performmy work correctly. Since the start of my exercises, I began to feel the difference.With the nice and kind attention I received from the NJIB team, change arrived andmy condition began to improve. At themoment, I feel much better, and I can work with just a little discomfort at certainmoments, but it’s nothing that I can’t tolerate. And yes, my life has changed for the better since I started therapy. I sincerely thank the team for the wonderful attention they have givenme, for their professionalism, and for the pleasant working environment of this office. Thank you verymuch.” -Maikel C.
Stuff the Turkey Game Want to get the kids outside so you can get to work in the kitchen? Create a Thanksgiving-themed game for them to play outside while you prep the stuffing and put the turkey in the oven. To create a holiday-themed “Stuff the Turkey” game, all you need is a few paper bags. We’ll bet you have some left over from shopping. Use two small bags stuffed with scrap paper to create legs and glue them to a larger bag folded to look like the body of a turkey. Now that you have your turkey, you need some balls to stuff it with. Anything soft and baseball-sized will work, even some balled-up paper. Kids will take turns trying to toss the balls into the turkey, scoring points for every shot made.
PHYSICAL THERAPY Can Help Young Athletes
As athletics become a bigger commitment for children of all ages, injuries happen more frequently. Nobody wants their child to suffer an injury while playing sports, but when it does happen, you want to know that your kids have safe recovery options. Physical therapy offers many benefits to athletes dealing with pain, as well as those seeking to prevent injury in the first place. Young athletes aren’t just dealing with the strain of physical activity. They also have to cope with the fact that their bones and cartilage are growing, which increases the likelihood of tissue injuries. If your child is injured, physical therapy offers a safe, non-invasive path to recovery without the need for excessive medication. Physical therapy is a dynamic method that accounts for the unique needs of every individual. This adaptability allows for tailored treatment programs based on strength and flexibility training. In physical therapy, recovery and training techniques are coupled with education, limiting the risk of a repeat injury. This education also aids in injury prevention by teaching young athletes about body mechanics. If a child understands the tenets of safe, mechanically sound movement, they are less likely to end up on the sidelines. Sports medicine and physical therapy techniques increase range of motion, promote proper stretching, and help a child become more in tune with what their body is telling them.
If you are the parent of a young athlete, consider consulting a physical therapist as your child becomes more serious about their sport. It won’t just limit the risk of injury; it can also increase performance. Of course, some injuries are unavoidable. In those instances, physical therapy is often the safest road to getting your child back on the field and doing what they love most. With Sausage Brussels Sprouts
Looking for an easy, delicious Thanksgiving side dish? This gem requires only a few ingredients.
1½ pounds Brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup water
3.3 ounces fresh, hot Italian sausage
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Salt and pepper
4. When sprouts are just about done, remove cover and raise heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring just once or twice, for a couple more minutes. The
1. Trim sprouts and cut in half. 2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, 3–5 minutes. 3. Add sprouts to skillet. Add ½ cup water. Add salt and pepper. Cover and cook 10 minutes or until just tender. Check them periodically and add a bit more water, if necessary.
liquid should evaporate, and the sprouts should start to brown.
LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING YOU ALL THERE.
5. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot or warm.
Recipe courtesy of InTheKitchenWithKath.com. 3 www.NJIB.com
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INSIDE This Issue
Taking Stock at the Thanksgiving Table
3 Family Activities for Thanksgiving
Patient Success Story
Physical Therapy Can Help Young Athletes
Brussels Sprouts With Sausage
Iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloons
Thanksgiving is a holiday full of traditions, from turkey and stuffing to football and naps. Since 1924, the Macy’s Parade has grown to become not only a Thanksgiving staple but also the world’s largest parade. Over 3.5 million people attended the parade last year, with another 20 million tuning in from home. The main attraction is always the massive character balloons, which first graced the skies in 1927. Over the decades, some of these balloons have become nearly as famous as the character they depict. Felix the Cat When the Felix the Cat balloon appeared in 1931, it set the standard for all characters to follow. Sadly, the original balloon got tangled in wires and caught on fire, so it has been lost to history. Felix’s influence on the parade is so immense, however, that when Macy’s brought him back in 2016 for the parade’s 90th anniversary, they recreated his original design. Without Felix’s debut, the parade might look a lot different today. Iconic Macy’s
Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloons
Snoopy When it comes to balloon characters, none is more famous than the classic “Peanuts” beagle. His first balloon floated through the sky in 1968, and he’s been a regular fixture ever since. Charles Schultz’s famous pooch holds the record for most variations in a parade (eight) and most total appearances (40). Though Snoopy doesn’t come out every year, he usually closes the show when he does. Pikachu The Pokémon mascot didn’t appear until 2001, but he’s become a star attraction, showing up every year since. Bright, expressive, and impossible to miss, Pikachu checks off all the boxes for a successful balloon character. For 16 years, those who predicted that Pokémon was just a fad have gotten a big, yellow reminder of just how wrong they were.
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