Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thanksgiving Coming Up: The Over-Looked Holiday

Yeah, you know what I mean. Poor Old Thanksgiving is getting the short-shrift. Squeezed in between Halloween and Christmas, it's kind of being aced out of the decorating spotlight. (I mean just how much can you actually do with an image of a turkey?) No sooner is Halloween over then out come the Christmas decorations. And don't get me started on stores who've had their Christmas stuff out since before Halloween. I mean - what's that all about?

Anyway, in the spirit of remembrance, today I thought I'd recommend one of my ALL TIME favorite Thanksgiving books and two of my ALL TIME favorite Thanksgiving films. (In truth, there just aren't that many to choose from. I didn't want to recommend anything I hadn't seen or read.)

The book is one I've had for years and years and I read it every Thanksgiving whether there's a kid around or not. I just love it. Thanksgiving Day At Our House - Thanksgiving Poems for the Very Young - by Nancy White Carlstrom, illustrated by R.W.Alley

Thanksgiving poems for the very young - then that must mean young at heart too. The charm of these little poems combined with the fun of Alley's illustration just make for a delightful (there's my favorite word again) Thanksgiving holiday duo. There are illustrations and words to cover the entire Thanksgiving experience - from school day festivities, including the school pageant, to the busy preparations at home, to the excitement of expected visitors, a page or two about the less fortunate, the dinner itself and other assorted Thanksgiving bits and pieces, this is a special way to spend a few minutes - reading or just enjoying the detailed illustrations. If there's a kid around to share it with, even better. This book always brings a smile to my face no matter how busy or how down in the holiday dumps I might be.

Next, one of two favorite films: Planes, Trains and Automobiles starring Steve Martin and John Candy. I hadn't realized how much I loved this film until we watched it again a few years ago at my daughter's house one Thanksgiving weekend. My one caution: make sure you're not too full to watch this comfortably - you will be rolling around on the sofa laughing your head off. So a pre-holiday dinner viewing is probably called for. In the spirit of apres-dinner relaxation, I mean. The film is basically about two hapless individuals, strangers, trying to get home for the Thanksgiving holidays and, of course, nothing goes right for either man. When they're forced by circumstances to travel together, every move they make seems a disaster. The film is hilarious.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Not much needs to be said except: toast? Another endearing look at a truly hapless (there's that word again) individual, Charlie Brown, as he goes about celebrating the holiday with his crew of motley friends.

There is one other Thanksgiving movie which has been highly recommended to me, but I've never actually seen it. Got it lined up on my Netflix queue though. It's called What's Cooking? Supposed to be pretty good. Have you seen it?


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  2. Well, we don't have this particular celebration over in the UK - the stores go straight from Hallowe'en to Christmas (with a brief spate of fireworks & BBQ madness for Bonfire night in November). Normally, I don't starting putting up Christmas decorations until at least Dec 20th but this year a large pre-season family gathering (only time we can all be in the same place at the same time) means I'll be 'decking the halls' before Dec 9th!!

  3. Oh, at least you're decorating in the ACTUAL month of December! Ha! I refuse to take my autumn leaf wreath off the front door until December 1st. That's my own little protest. Then out comes the Christmas wreath which spends the rest of the year languishing in the basement. :)

    How fortunate for you, Sue, to have your whole family around you, even if it is technically in 'pre-season'.

  4. I love Thanksgiving though I'm one of those that will probably decorate for Christmas either on that day or right before it. I work in retail and I just don't have the time or energy to do it after. :-)

    Love Charlie Brown Thanksgiving though. I have it on DVD which has the story of the first Thanksgiving on it too.

  5. Ryan, I know all about retailing and the holidays. Ha! My ex-husband was in retailing all the years we were married. We had a friend who was once the toy buyer for a major NY store and he used to sleep in the store over the Christmas rush, there was just no time for him to go home. Decorate when you can, my friend. :)

  6. I love Planes... so very much. I actually wrote about it a few years ago. Another one that is a huge favorite is Home for the Holidays. Have you seen it? We've watched it so many times we quote from it, like we do from Groundhog Day. It means so much to me, but I haven't been able to put it into words for the blog yet.

  7. I can't remember if I've seen HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS or not, I'll have to check my Netflix page. I have an idea I might have, a while back and just didn't like it as much as you. Isn't that awful of me? My memory is so bad these days. I am going to watch WHAT'S COOKING? - That's one I KNOW for sure I haven't seen. I'm doing a Christmas movies post soon - are you? And of course, a listing of non-mystery Christmas books. By the way, I'd forgotten that Louise Penny had done a book set at the Holidays. I'm such a fan of the Armand Gamache series. MEMORY!! :)


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