Be An Elf! Tis the Season For Giving: Letters to Santa Answered with the USPS Operation Santa Program

You can help a child in need by participating in the USPS Operation Santa Program and Be An Elf. From December 1st to just a few days before Christmas the USPS Operation Santa Program offers letters to the public written by children from low income households. This could be for clothes, toys, food and more. You choose a letter, buy and wrap the gift and mail it to the child.

There are currently 15 Post Offices participating – Here is the list of locations to see if one is near you…

If there is not a location near you, you can still help and Be An Elf.. Find out Here

This amazing Operation Santa program was started by the US Postal Service™ in 1912 and has never missed a year of spreading good will and kindness to make many children happy on Christmas.

Here is the link to the website for more information on how this works.

(BeAnElf is not affiliated with the USPS and depends on support of donations)

Merry Christmas!!

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Courtesy of Clare Bloomfield at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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DIY Homemade Christmas Gifts In a Jar – Last Minute Gifts

jam-428094_640Hopefully you are about finished your Christmas shopping or are to the bottom of your list. But what about an unexpected guest arriving for your holiday fare and you have no gift. Or a neighbor or co worker brings you a little something, you will want to return the kindness. Be prepared ahead of time…

A homemade food gift with the recipe makes a thoughtful gift with a personal touch. . Add a few decorations to a mason jar with your famous holiday cookies inside or a mixture for a special hot chocolate with a hand written recipe attached with some ribbon makes it special. Know someone who loves to bake? Give them a jar with a scrumptious brownie mix inside. Make these up ahead of time and you will be ready for the unexpected…

Delish.com has over 22 recipes in a jar from MM Cookies, Chocolate Peppermint Cookie Mix, Granola, Pancakes, Hot Cocoa, bread muffins and more. Check out their slide show with links to mixes in a jar recipes Here.

 

Here are some idea’s from MixesInaJar.com

Brownie Mix In A Jar

Cappucino Mix in a Jar

Chinese Barbeque Sauce

Know someone who would love something other then food?

Candy Cane Bath Salts

Egyptian Facial Mask

There are over 250 gift jar idea’s to choose from including breads and muffins , coffee and teas, breads and soups and more.

Merry Christmas :]

 

 

Photo Courtesy of Jarmoluk at Pixabay.com


How To Easily Defrost Prepare Cook and Carve A Thanksgiving Holiday Turkey

id-100475624Cooking a Thanksgiving Turkey really comes down to four easy steps.

The preparation of the Turkey starts with whether it is fresh or frozen. No one wants to wake up Thanksgiving morning to a half frozen turkey, so defrosting ahead of time is essential. According to the USDA you will need at least 1 day per 4 -5 pounds of turkey defrost in the refrigerator.

Here is a chart for thawing in the refrigerator:

4 to 12 pounds – 1-3 days
12 to 16 pounds – 3-4 days
16 to 20 pounds – 4-5 days
20 to 24 pounds – 5-6 days

There is another method you can use by submerging the wrapped turkey in cold water and changing the water out every 30 minutes.

4 to 12 pounds – 2 to 6 hours
12 to 16 pounds – 6 to 8 hours
16 to 20 pounds -8 to 10 hours
20 to 24 pounds – 10 to 12 hours

Now that you have a defrosted turkey it’s time to move onto the next steps , preparing, stuffing and flavor.

Easy Roast Turkey for Beginners for the Holidays!

Stuffing with Sausage


How To Carve A Turkey

Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Courtesy of Apolonia at FreedigitalPhotos.net


Fun For The Entire Family at Thanksgiving

thanksgiving-1009127_640Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, Turkey with all the trimmings and Football, Thanksgiving is a fun filled day for the entire family and friends.

While you are getting your day ready and crossing things off your to-do list, have some fun prepared for the rest of the family.

Start the day off with the 91st Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade which starts at 9 a.m. and goes to 12 p.m. If you cannot be there in person, watch it from home on NBC.

You can also have fun watching the parade with Thanksgiving TV Bingo Go Here to download Bingo Cards just for the parade. For Football enthusiast they also have a download for Thanksgiving Football Bingo.

Thanksgiving table just for the kids

Make a table cloth from brown paper and size it to your table. Add drawings for the kids to color in.To draw out Turkeys, trace around your hand and in between fingers with a black marker. Make sure that the your fingers are spread out flat on the paper. Add a dot for the eye, a beak, wattle, legs and feet. You could also draw and outline of Pilgrims and Indians, pumpkins or whatever Thanksgiving theme you would like. Place a small cup with a few crayons on table in front of each chair. If you would rather have coloring pages or get ideas for drawings at each seat, go here for free pages you can print out.

Have a pumpkin hunt

No, you don’t use real pumpkins for this hunt. Most of your craft stores should have plastic mini pumpkins already to go for you. Depending on how many kids will be participating, will determine how many pumpkins you will need. You can hide them inside or outside or both. Have a number on one of the pumpkins that will lead to a big prize and numbers on random pumpkins for smaller prizes, this way everyone will win something.

Great Photo Op

Let them be a Pilgrim or Indian! Easy to do out of paper and construction paper. Get instructions for the Pilgrim Hat Here, Bonnet Here also an Indian Headdress Here and Turkey headband. Have the kids participate or make them up ahead of time. Once they have them on get a memorable photo.

Thanksgiving is a special day for family and friends. People will travel far and wide to make it home for the love of family and the Turkey Feast. Make this a safe holiday and please don’t drink and drive.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

Photo Courtesy of EScwartz at Pixabay.com


Fun Facts and Stories to Share For Thanksgiving

id-100119091In 1620 Pilgrims fled the Church of England in search of religious freedom. Little did they know when this journey would bring America a traditional holiday just over 200 years later celebrated every last Thursday of the month.

When the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock they had no idea what the new world would offer them. Unfortunately they suffered from the harsh winter and failed crops resulting in many settlers perishing.

If it were not for an American Indian, Squanto and his people coming to the rescue many more may have not survived. The Indian’s taught the Pilgrims how to plant corn, squash and beans. By 1621 their crops were abundant and they shared their wealth with the Indians for a Harvest Celebration today known as Thanksgiving.

This harvest celebration was not for only one day, these people knew how to throw a party. The celebration went on for 3 days of feasting and games. Did they have Turkey? Yes, Wild Turkey and more than likely their feast consisted of Goose, Rabbit, Lobster and Codfish.. For the Pilgrims Wild Turkey was easy to hunt because they were in abundance and large in size. Even though they could fly, they could not fly very far.

They would have cooked their meat on over an open fire with a spit, a rod that would rotate on a frame with the help of someone turning the meat until cooked. They also had pots that could hang from the frame to simmer and cook the side dishes.

Over the years the other meats they had at their feast became scarce or very expensive. The Turkey remained the ideal meat to serve at Thanksgiving because not only is it affordable but low in calories, highly nutritious and delicious.

While we set out out best Chinaware for our table, the pilgrims ate from wooden plates, with spoons, knives and their fingers. Forks were not in Plymouth until the 18th century. As for the napkin, it was not placed on the lap, it was placed over your left hand shoulder hanging down the front so you could take a piece of meat with your right hand and wipe off your hand on the napkin.

It was not until over 200 years later that Thanksgiving Day was made an official holiday.

Sarah Josepha Buell Hale an American writer, influential editor and author of Mary Had a Little Lamb” spent 40 years campaigning for a national day of giving. She got her wish in 1863 when President Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday.

I know in my house Football is a big part of our Thanksgiving celebration. Since 1934 the Detroit Lions have brought the tradition of a game on Thanksgiving Day. They have played every year with the exception of WWII between 1939 and 1944. The Dallas Cowboys also picked up on this tradition giving us even more enjoyable football since 1966.Bringing on this football tradition also brought on the snacks before the big meal.

Thanksgiving Facts:

An estimated 375 Million pounds of Turkey are eaten every Thanksgiving,

65 million Sweet Potato’s are consumed

80 million pounds of Cranberry’s are eaten

55 million Pumpkin Pies are consumed

In 1955 fully stuffed, frozen and ready to cook Turkeys were introduced to the public.

For 50 years the President of the United States has pardoned a Turkey from Thanksgiving day doom, starting with Harry Truman.

Breaking the wishbone started with the Greek and Roman Empire who brought the tradition to Europe and the English brought it to America.

Stuffing recipes were also brought from Europe. In the first Thanksgiving it was possible that the birds and fish were stuffed with herbs, onions and oats. The most popular stuffing today is breadcrumb, cornbread and oyster.

Corn on the Cob was given to the settlers by the American Indians which was a part of the first feast.

Mashed Potato’s were not likely a part of the celebration as they had not been a part of the settlers diet in 1620.

Sweet Potato’s were a Native American vegetable and were most likely at the first Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin and Apple Pie are the most popular desserts at Thanksgiving. (Also enjoyed is Sweet Potato Pie)

1969 Astronauts enjoyed food packets of roasted Turkey and the trimmings in space.

The popular TV show Friends had a Thanksgiving episode in everyone of the their 10 years on the air.

The 3 most popular way to eat Thanksgiving left overs is sandwiches, soups and casseroles.

Make Turkey Pies! They are so delicious and really help with the left overs.

Get Idea’s and Recipes over at Taste of Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Courtesy of Becris at FreeDigitalPhotos.net