The season of giving and gratitude is upon us, once more, despite a year filled with uncertainty, unrest, and second-guessing for many Americans. The world seems too political and too fractured to bear, here at home and abroad. Finding things to be grateful for is a bit of a scavenger hunt; at best, but there’s a curious fact about scavenger hunts: If you stick with one, you will be amazed at the haul you can make. You just have to look a little harder, in times like these. There are, indeed, blessings—often many and considerable—for which to be grateful. Parts of our country have been victimized by devastating by fires, floods, and storms, these past two seasons, while Hampton Roads has enjoyed relatively peaceful and sound weather, thus far this year. Many countries have suffered violent political unrest; but our local elections this autumn, while charged, took place as they always have, with dedicated opponents able to freely speak their mind on issues and concerns. Fall colors finally arrived, and local merchants stocked their shelves with everything familiar for this time of year, both a comfort and a reassurance that the year’s cycle has come round, once more, and that we are all still here and all is well. Perhaps you can celebrate good health, or the nearness of those you love. Perhaps a new companion, or a successful new job. Perhaps you have been gifted with great abundance in some way and have been given the grace to share it. Happy is the grateful and giving heart—but it must be cultivated and nurtured.
Hopefully, you can tend to that garden, this Thanksgiving, and during the joyous holidays to follow.
Happy Thanksgiving, New Town!
Holiday Riddle: What genre of music did Pilgrims like best?
Curious Thanksgiving Info: The largest pumpkin pie ever baked weighed 3,699 pounds and measured 20 feet in diameter. The Guiness World Records holding pie was baked in 2010 by the New Bremen Giant Pumpkin Growers in Ohio. It included a whopping 1,212 pounds of pumpkin, 109 gallons of evaporated milk, 2,796 eggs, 525 pounds of sugar, 7 pounds of salt and 14.5 pounds of cinnamon.
Historical Thanksgiving Fact: The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 over a three-day harvest festival, including 50 Pilgrims and 90 Wampanoag Indians. It is believed by historians that only five women were present. Turkey wasn't on the menu.
Holiday Quote: For me, every hour is grace. And I feel gratitude in my heart each time I can meet someone and look at his or her smile. Elie Wiesel
O Thou, whose hand hath brought us
Unto this joyful day,
Accept our glad thanksgiving,
And listen as we pray. Frederick W. Goadby
Holiday Hack: Cooking with your Dishwasher. Your dishwasher can steam your side veggies for the holiday. Take an airtight mason jar, add your vegetables, water, and seasonings, and you can cook them while washing a load of dishes.
For more holiday hacks like this, visit: https://whatsupmoms.com/for-mom/thanksgiving-hacks-youll-wonder-how-you-ever-lived-without/
Easy-Breezy Corn Casserole Side
can be made before hand and warmed at 300 degree F for 10-20 minutes the day of. Can be frozen, as well.
- 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
- 1 (14.75 ounce) can creamed corn
- 1 (8.5 ounce) package dry cornbread mix
- 1 cup sour cream
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 2 large eggs, beaten
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x9-inch baking dish.
2. Mix whole and creamed corn, cornbread mix, sour cream, melted butter, and eggs together in a medium bowl until well combined. Spoon mixture into the prepared dish.
3. Bake in the preheated oven until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
Black Friday Hack: Create a strategic shopping plan to follow. Itemize advertised deals before the holiday arrives and road map those stores offering the best coupons or offers. Then, shop early—and with a favorite buddy. Always makes for a fun time and a memorable event.
Pet Care: Thanksgiving Pet Safety
- Keep the feast on the table—not under it.
- No pie or other desserts for your pets.
- Yeast dough can cause problems for pets, including painful gas and potentially dangerous bloating.
- Put the trash away where your pets can't find it.
- Be careful with decorative plants.
- Quick action can save lives. Call ASPCA Poison Control Hotline (888-426-4435) or the Pet Poison Helpline (855-764-7661) if the unthinkable happens
- Visitors can upset your pets. Be aware of potential confrontations.
- If guests have compromised immune systems, advise them of your pets so they can be prepared. Advise them if you have exotic pets to make sure they will be comfortable having them around.
- Watch your exits. Pets can easily escape during the festivities—and remember: identification tags and microchips reunite families. Get your pets microchipped!
- Monitor your pets around holiday decorations—especially lit candles and ornamental foods, for obvious reasons.
From: American Medical Veterinary Association https://www.avma.org/resources/pet-owners/petcare/thanksgiving-pet-safety
Riddle Answer: Plymouth Rock