How to Spend the Thanksgiving Holiday
Thanksgiving is a national holiday, a secular event that can be celebrated by all Americans. From the Pilgrims to the patriots that fought for our independence, from Reconstruction through two world wars and onto this day, Americans have called upon their Creator to give thanks. If you’re looking for some ideas on how to spend your Thanksgiving holiday, then please read on.
1. Host a meal. Most people will spend Thanksgiving with family. If you’re not able to do so, why not host a meal yourself? Invite friends, family and anyone else that doesn’t have a place to go for the day. Supply the turkey, some fixings and the table settings; ask everyone to bring their favorite dish. Encourage people to bring nontraditional foods too — this is particularly ideal if your guests are not from America and desire to be in your company regardless of the fare served.
2. Watch the parade. The most well-known Thanksgiving Day parade is Macy’s parade in New York. For years, this parade has kicked off the holiday season for tens of millions of Americans. If you’re in New York, you can join 2.5 million other people that stand out in the chill to watch the bands, floats and entertainers stream by. The Philadelphia parade, however, is the oldest and other large parades are held in Detroit, Chicago and Houston. Most Thanksgiving parades start around 9 a.m. and are over by noon, just in time to take in the day’s other activities.
3. Serve the poor. Soup kitchens, homeless shelters, churches and a variety of organizations reach out to the community throughout the year. Many will serve Thanksgiving dinner to those that otherwise would not have a meal or miss out on a time to spend with family and friends. Contact your local shelter to find out about volunteer opportunities. You may be called upon to serve food, wipe down tables, take out the trash, maintain the kitchen, but above all else demonstrate compassion to everyone.
4. Enjoy a football game. Morning high school football games are a tradition that goes back more than 100 years. Primarily pitting teams in the northeast, schools in Ohio, Michigan, Missouri and California also see action. In the afternoon, the NFL joins in with three contests held beginning at 12:30 p.m. and extending late into the night. One college football game is typically played at night too.
5. Go shopping. Yes, some stores are open on Thanksgiving. We won’t name them here, but a few larger retailers have bucked the trend in recent years to open up and run specials. If shopping during the day seems odd, you can wait until around 10 p.m. as certain retailers get a jump on Black Friday specials. If you prefer not to darken the aisles of your favorite store, you can always shop for what you want online. Stores are always open and many retailers will hold specials right on Thanksgiving day.
That tired feeling you have after eating your Thanksgiving meal is likely from the turkey. Turkey meat contains L-tryptophan that works to make you drowsy. You can minimize its effect by simply eating less meat and loading up on your other meal favorites.