By Marisa Dillon
Are they yams or sweet potatoes?
Patronize Target or TJ Max?
When was the first Thanksgiving?
Who was the first to play football on Turkey Day, Detroit or Dallas?
Any of these questions could be conversation starters at your Thanksgiving table between bites of Grandma’s cranberry and sausage stuffing and Aunt Minnie’s pecan-covered, sweet potato casserole. Some may stump the most avid Thanksgiving Day fan. But let me don my apron and assist you in the kitchen with some of the answers that can impress your guests.
Stuffing is baked inside the bird, dressing is served on the side. And in the south, ya’ll, there is no debate, it’s always called dressing.
Yams ARE sweet potatoes.
Target’s open on Thanksgiving, TJ Max is not.
And even though you were taught Indians and pilgrims celebrated a good harvest at Plymouth in 1621, it wasn’t until 1863, when
President Abraham Lincoln made it official. And the reason? A public relations move to calm down the country during the Civil War.
Finally, football addicts may know this already, but every year since 1934, the Detroit Lions have taken the field for a Thanksgiving game, no matter how bad their record, and it all started with a publicity stunt to sell more tickets.
But before you pass out in a food coma in front of the football game on TV or join the ranks of Black Friday early-risers this Thanksgiving, think about what traditions are important to you and consider making some new memories. Here’s a few to get you started:
Create a Thanksgiving recipe book. Preserve the family favorites by scanning handwritten recipes into your computer. Then assemble them into a note book or go hi-tech with an online tool like Shutterfly.
Donate to charity or volunteer. Check with your local community center or homeless shelter and give to the less fortunate.
Assemble a gratitude chain. On strips of paper have friends and family write down one thing they are grateful for this year and string them together, then proudly display your creation on a mantle or your Christmas tree.
But of course, if shopping IS a part of your holiday fun, even on Turkey day, then embrace it with pride and drink a Venti Starbucks with double espresso to get you through the long lines and triple door buster specials.
No matter who you share your table with this holiday, start this year’s memories with a lively conversation and remember to give thanks!