WELCOME THE UNCONVENTIONAL THANKSGIVING
3 Ideas for Mixing Up the Traditional Turkey Day
Some people love Thanksgiving just the way it is, but others feel the annual traditions that come with it are stifling. If you’re dreading the inevitable conversation about whose house to go to, which side dishes to cook, and whom to invite to the table, why not mix things up for 2019? Just because Thanksgiving falls on the same fourth Thursday each November doesn’t mean you’re locked into the same holiday routine. If you’re stuck in a Turkey Day rut, try one of these alternate celebrations and enjoy the spirit of gratitude in a new way. TV shows love to draw up stories about devastated characters forced to spend Thanksgiving without their extended families, but really, what’s so bad about making Thanksgiving an intimate affair? Big, boisterous Thanksgivings with every uncle, cousin, and stepsister certainly have their downsides. Slaving over the stove is stressful, and bringing people from so many different walks of life together can cause heated arguments. Why not skip the drama this Thanksgiving and enjoy a romantic dinner with your significant other or a cozy meal with your spouse and kids? You can cook together at home or grab a table at a restaurant with a Turkey Day special to leave the stress of cooking behind entirely. In the end, you may be even more grateful for those you hold dear. This gathering of friends rather than family has been a Thanksgiving option for decades, but, in the last few years, rising popularity has given it a name: Friendsgiving. Some people think the moniker dates back to a 2007 episode of the TV show “Friends,” while others credit Twitter users or a 2011 Bailey’s Irish Cream marketing campaign. Whatever its origins, The Atlantic says the informal, potluck-style meal gained real traction with 20- and 30-somethings in 2014 and has only gotten more popular since. Friendsgiving is a great option if you’re living far from home, don’t get along well with your family, or simply ‘Just Us’Thanksgiving Friendsgiving
want to avoid the pressure holidays bring. For the best of
both worlds, try adding a Friendsgiving to your Thanksgiving routine, either on the weekend before or the weekend after Turkey Day.
Here’s a new way to solve the “Whose house should we eat at?” debate: Skip the houses altogether and jet off to a hotel room instead. The destination Thanksgiving is a great way to take advantage of days off work, and they can bring families together on neutral territory. If you’re bringing the full crew, rent an Airbnb for everyone and have fun experimenting with Thanksgiving recipes that fit your new surroundings. If you go tropical, for example, MyRecipes.com offers an entire menu for “Thanksgiving at the Beach.” Alternately, turning Thanksgiving into a family trip with your spouse and kids is a great way to completely avoid political discussions and best-pumpkin-pie debates. If anyone calls to ask where you are, just explain you planned your trip months ago — then take another sip of your piña colada and show your kids how to make a turkey-shaped sandcastle.
–Dr. Janelle Ferber-Stumpf
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YOUR VOTE MATTERS, AND, SOMEDAY, YOUR KID’S WILL TOO!
Teach a Lesson About Voting This Election Day!
ENGAGE YOUR KIDS ON THANKSGIVING With These Gratitude-Themed Games
The 2020 presidential election is heating up, but Election Day 2019 still requires citizens’ voices to decide the fate of their cities, counties, states, and judgeships. As the U.S. enjoys a relatively quiet election day on Tuesday, Nov. 5, use the opportunity to teach your children about their civic duty and the power of voting. For the Young Kiddos There’s no reason why children can’t be involved in local elections. Let your kids tag along to the voting area, and ask for help from city workers and local representatives to answer your kids’ questions. You can even set up your own family election by holding a vote over what to have for dinner or where the next family vacation should be located. If you’re looking for bedtime books to feed their curiosity, try out fun reads like “O, Say Can You See? America’s Symbols, Landmarks, and Inspiring Words” by Sheila Keenan. Various websites, like KidsVotingUSA.org, also have ample resources for educators and families.
Thanksgiving is an excellent time to teach children about gratefulness. By planning some fun, gratitude-themed games, you can impart a valuable lesson and spend some quality family time together. Get your kids in the holiday spirit by adding a Thanksgiving twist to these classic games.
Want to bring out your kids’ creative sides? Pictionary is the perfect way to encourage artistic expression and grateful thinking. Try adding a rule where players have to draw something they’re grateful for. This will get your kids thinking beyond turkey and stuffing and give them an imaginative way to express their gratitude. Plus, who doesn’t love a good art contest?
Turning 18 comes with the newfound responsibility of voting for our country’s leaders, and, for new voters, the system, ballots, and restrictions can be confusing. Start by walking your teen through the registration process, which can be done in person at your
municipality’s office or online at USA.gov or Vote.org. Next, talk with your teen about what’s at stake in the upcoming election. Be careful not to seed your
To play gratitude-themed Guess Who?, have each participant write down their name and something they’re thankful for on a slip of paper and put it in a bowl. Then, at the dinner table, have each person draw a random slip and read what it says without saying the name while everyone else tries to guess who wrote it. While Pictionary may get your kids talking about what they are thankful for, Guess Who? will tune them into what others around them are thankful for too. Like regular pick-up sticks, the goal is to remove a stick from a haphazard pile without disturbing the others. However, by using colored sticks that represent different kinds of thankfulness — such as places, people, or food — you can make players think outside the box. This will ensure you get a wide range of creative, thoughtful answers whenever the kids pick up a stick. These modified games are great for helping your kids realize how much they have to be thankful for. Use these to spend some fun, educational, quality time with your family this Thanksgiving. Pick-Up Sticks
language with opinions so your teen can develop their own view. Direct them to resources like
Ballotpedia.org, where they can find information, practice voting, and see local sample ballots. And, of course, when Election Day rolls around, celebrate their first vote!
Don’t Forget About You! Voting is a right and privilege that comes with U.S. citizenship. Don’t miss your opportunity to have your voice heard. Learn more about your local election by visiting Ballotpedia.org or contacting your municipality, and be sure to register to vote if you haven’t already.
Remember, your kids learn by watching what you do, not just by listening to what you say. Inspire them to get involved and, when the time comes, exercise their right to vote!
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THE GREATEST AMERICAN WAR HORSE The Legend of Sergeant Reckless Animals have acted as companions to humankind for thousands of years. They’re a near-constant source of companionship, comfort, and aid. Unfortunately, military animals don’t often get the recognition they deserve. One horse, in particular, was essential to the success of her regiment during the Korean War. Meet Sergeant Reckless. Bought for $250 in 1952 by a U.S. Marine Corps lieutenant at a Seoul racetrack, Sergeant Reckless was trained to carry ammunition for the 5th Marine Regiment. Her name was a play on the “recoilless” rifle ammunition she carried and a nod to the daredevil attitude of the soldiers who used them. Reckless was pivotal for her regiment in more ways than one. As Robin Hutton notes in her book “Sgt. Reckless: America’s War Horse,”“Because horses are ‘herd’ animals, the Marines became her herd. She bonded so deeply with them that Reckless would go anywhere and do anything to help her adopted family.” Sergeant Reckless’ greatest achievement occurred during the final stages of the Battle for Outpost Vegas. During the bloody five-day campaign, Reckless made 51 trips to resupply guns over the course of a single day. By the end of the battle, she had carried 386 rounds of ammunition by walking 35 miles through
rice paddies and mountain trails.
After dropping off the ammunition, Reckless would then bring wounded soldiers back to safety. Reckless was trained to lie down when under fire and avoid barbed wire, and her ability to do so without needing human command saved many lives during the battle. Reckless would close out her war career with two Purple Hearts and the rank of staff sergeant. She spent the rest of her years at Camp Pendleton in California. To learn more about this legendary mare, be sure to check out “Sgt. Reckless: America’s War Horse” by Robin Hutton.
THE BEST LEFTOVER TURKEY SANDWICH
TAKE A BREAK
Inspired by FoodNetwork.com
1/3 cup leftover dressing or stuffing
2 slices sourdough bread
2 tbsp leftover gravy
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
• 1 tbsp butter, room temperature Note: Don’t worry if you don’t have all the leftovers required.
2 slices Swiss cheese
1/3 cup shredded leftover turkey
3 tbsp leftover cranberry sauce
1. Coat inside of each bread slice with mustard and a slice of cheese. Place turkey and cranberry sauce on one slice and dressing and gravy on the other. 2. Combine sandwich and spread butter on both sides. 3. In a panini maker or large skillet, grill until crispy and golden brown. 4. Slice and serve.
Solution on Page 4
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Gratitude-Themed Games for Kids Teaching Kids the Power of Voting
The Legend of Sergeant Reckless The Best Leftover Turkey Sandwich
Adventure Like a Scandinavian
THERE’S ‘SNOW’ PLACE LIKE SCANDINAVIA Embrace Winter Like a Pro
Scandinavian countries like Sweden and Denmark have long topped lists of the world’s happiest people. This may seem
anymore, give Nordic skiing a try. It’s less stressful on your body but still a challenging, fun way to enjoy a beautiful day outside.
Dress for Warmth There’s no such thing as bad weather, only poor gear. The Fins embrace this mentality wholeheartedly by trekking in subzero temperatures. The key is proper layering. Start with warm base layers that retain heat while allowing air to circulate. Skintight spandex isn’t very effective, so try thermal underwear or wool instead. On top of your base layer, add fleece and then down. If you’ll be somewhere with a lot of moisture, make sure your down is synthetic and waterproof. Your extremities get cold the quickest, so keep them warm with a buff, cozy gloves, hats, and wool socks, layered as needed. OneWord: Sauna Just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean you need to be too. A day on the slopes would not be complete without a sauna. In Finland, Sweden, and other Nordic countries, taking a sauna is considered a daily ritual for its purported health-boosting and mood-boosting benefits. Age and Ageing health journal has found evidence linking sauna use to a lowered risk for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
strange considering these countries can spend half the year in darkness; dusk sets in around 2 p.m. for some Nordic cities in the wintertime. The Scandinavians’ positive outlook on winter likely contributes to their happy demeanors year-round. Instead of looking at the winter months as something to endure, these folks embrace the season and find ways to enjoy it. Here are a couple ways to emulate their attitude.
Try Nordic Skiing If you’re a seasonal runner but it’s too cold to enjoy your go-to activity this winter, it’s time to
diversify. Skiing isn’t the only wintertime option, either. There’s ice skating, ice climbing, and snowshoeing, to name a few. If your knees can’t take downhill skiing or snowboarding
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