Take the Time to Be Thankful

Take the Time to Be Thankful

By Arleen M. Kaptur

The feast of Thanksgiving - squeezed in between Autumn and Christmas - it is a wonderful opportunity to gather with family, friends, and relatives and, in essence, show our "thanks" and appreciation for the many blessings we have in our lives and also for those we are not aware of.

There are definitely traditions that abound on this day - a menu that has proven to be a success year after year and even generation after generation. Sticking to the favorites that perhaps everyone makes only during the holidays is the basis for a spectacular feast, but it is also a time to create a few new traditions and add a taste, or dish that was not included last year or the year before.

Turkey and stuffing, carrots, sweet potatoes, corn, pumpkin pies, cranberries, and fresh-baked breads and muffins is a truly memorable meal-plan. What about time spent - this may be your first or it may be your twenty-first Thanksgiving meal. Don't ever feel put upon because you are asked to host Thanksgiving once again - it is truly an honor and should be construed as a living testimonial to your creativity, expertise, and talent as a cook.

Decorating for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving decorating that has survived for generations is the cornucopia spilling over with autumn harvest, Indian corn and colorful apples, and squashes.

A delightful wreath made of grapes, apples, oranges, lemons, pears, etc. with a center of whole unshelled walnuts and pecans is a perfect holiday centerpiece.

Bring out your ceramic or glass turkeys, squirrels, Indian figurines, pilgrim people, etc. Using your imagination and creativity and some cut-out pictures or patterns for turkeys or squirrels, paste them to small foil tart pans and use as place settings, nut cups, or around candles and salt and pepper shakers.

Of course, mums are the flower of choice at this time of year, but assorted dried leaves of gold, red, orange, and yellow add to the beauty. Tiny sunflowers and crimson dahlias are also great choices.

Rustic apples nestled on beds of straw and placed in colorful baskets or bowls with a shaft of wheat tied in a plaid ribbon will add delight to tables, mantels. etc.

Pumpkin Potpourri

Using a food slicer or potato waffle slicer, make pumpkin slices from half of a pumpkin. Chop the remaining pumpkin into small pieces. Dry in a food dehydrator or oven. Mix the dried pumpkin slices and pieces with nutmeg, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, allspice berries, bay leaves, dried orange peel, etc.

Mix and match until a scent is evolving that reminds you of pumpkin pies, falling leaves, and autumn. Place in a decorative bowl, or container. For beautiful additional fall color, add dried hydrangea blossoms, straw- flowers, marigold petals, etc.


In setting your table remember to use the colors of the season: red/green/gold apples, pumpkins, gourds, mums, dried berries, pumpkin colored candles (and scented to, if you like), golden candleholders and use small pumpkins that have been hollowed out and then filled with sand to hold your candle.

For a colorful accent, spray paint grape leaves in a circle under your pumpkin, or attach dried berries to gilded dried fall leaves and attach (much like a candle ring).

However, you celebrate this day, this season, let's spend as much time being "thankful" as we spent in "asking." ENJOY!

©Arleen M. Kaptur 2002 October

About the author

Arleen Kaptur has written numerous books and articles on simple, rustic living and enjoying each and every day. You may visit her at her website Arleen's Site and sign up for her free newsletters.


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