Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Making Thanksgiving Memories Together

Thanksgiving is a public holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November every year in the United States. It started as a harvest festival and has been celebrated nationally on and off since 1789.  The most important part of Thanksgiving for American families is to spend family time together.

Martin Cathrae

 “My favorite holiday was Thanksgiving. Firstly, it was my first holiday with the whole family in America. Secondly, the whole family came together. All aunts and uncles and their kids came to grandma’s. We played football with all of them, including grandma and grandpa. It was the first time I played it and it was so much fun for all. We had a great dinner with all the typical things you can imagine … it was deeeelicious! It was so great to be with such a big family and I really enjoyed that day. I will remember it my whole life, I hope.” – Swantje from Germany

Here are a few tips to help you have a terrific Thanksgiving experience.

Host Parents
Please plan to include your au pair in your Thanksgiving celebration, if at all possible. If you are traveling or will not be able to invite your au pair to join you for Thanksgiving, give her plenty of notice and help her make alternate plans. You don’t want to leave your au pair alone over the holiday.

Au Pairs
If you are invited to attend dinner, please let your family know within 5 days of the invitation, whether you are planning to attend, so they may make plans. If your host family is unable to include you in their Thanksgiving plans, please let me know if you have trouble making other plans, so I can assist.

Make sure to discuss time off during this holiday weekend. Many host families work the Friday after Thanksgiving so do not assume you have this day off or the entire weekend. Talk to your host family, BEFORE you make any plans.

Bonus Tip for the Kids
If you are looking for a fun recipe to make with your au pair, check out these turkey cookies. Find more fun activities and recipes on the Au Pair in America Fall Holidays pinboard.

Contest for au pairs: The first au pair to let Lisa or Christine know which traditional Thanksgiving food you are most looking forward to trying, will receive a prize!

 

Thanksgiving Tips for Host Parents & Au Pairs

Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November each year. Even though a few other countries also celebrate Thanksgiving, it’s still considered a uniquely American holiday, one that the au pairs look forward to experiencing. You can learn more about it here.

I really enjoyed Thanksgiving with my host family. It was as I imagined! So much food to try. Everyone got dressed up and shared what they were thankful for. It was so warm and special. The next day we began to prepare for Christmas. It was magical.” Selina from Germany

Below you will find some tips to help you have a terrific Thanksgiving experience.

 

Host Parents

  • Please plan to include your au pair in your Thanksgiving celebration, if at all possible. Thanksgiving with an au pair offers an opportunity to consider the relevance of the history and meaning of Thanksgiving as you compare the hospitality offered by the Native Americans to the recently arrived Pilgrims and the hospitality you offer your au pair.
  • If you are traveling or will not be able to invite your au pair to join you for Thanksgiving, give her plenty of notice and help her make alternate plans. You don’t want to leave your au pair alone over the holiday.

Au Pairs

  • If you are invited to attend dinner, please let your family know within 5 days of the invitation, whether you are planning to attend. It is considered rude in America to accept the invitation for dinner and then change your mind later in the month. Please be thoughtful.
  • Make sure to discuss time off during this holiday weekend. Many host families work the Friday after Thanksgiving so do not assume you have this day off or the entire weekend. Talk to your host family, BEFORE you make any plans.
  • If your host family is unable to include you in their Thanksgiving plans, please let me know if you have trouble making other plans. You may be able to join a friend and their host family for the holiday dinner.

Bonus Tip for the Kids

If you are looking for a fun recipe to make with your au pair, check out these turkey cupcakes. Find more fun activities and recipes on the Au Pair in America Fall Holidays pinboard.

Photo: Tim Sackton (Flickr)

5 Thanksgiving Tips for Au Pairs & Host Parents

Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November each year. Even though a few other countries also celebrate Thanksgiving, it’s still considered a uniquely American holiday, one that the au pairs look forward to experiencing. You can learn more about it here.

I really enjoyed Thanksgiving with my host family. It was as I imagined! So much food to try. Everyone got dressed up and shared what they were thankful for. It was so warm and special. The next day we began to prepare for Christmas. It was magical.” Selina from Germany

Below you will find some tips to help you have a terrific Thanksgiving experience.

 

Host Parents

1.  Please plan to include your au pair in your Thanksgiving celebration, if at all possible. Thanksgiving with an au pair offers an opportunity to consider the relevance of the history and meaning of Thanksgiving as you compare the hospitality offered by the Native Americans to the recently arrived Pilgrims and the hospitality you offer your au pair.

2.  If you are traveling or will not be able to invite your au pair to join you for Thanksgiving, give her plenty of notice and help her make alternate plans. You don’t want to leave your au pair alone over the holiday.

Au Pairs

3.  If you are invited to attend dinner, please let your family know within 5 days of the invitation, whether you are planning to attend. It is considered rude in America to accept the invitation for dinner and then change your mind later in the month. Please be thoughtful.

4.  Make sure to discuss time off during this holiday weekend. Many host families work the Friday after Thanksgiving so do not assume you have this day off or the entire weekend. Talk to your host family, BEFORE you make any plans.

5.  If your host family is unable to include you in their Thanksgiving plans, please let me know if you have trouble making other plans. You may be able to join a friend and their host family for the holiday dinner.

Bonus Tip for the Kids

If you are looking for a fun recipe to make with your au pair, check out these turkey cupcakes. Find more fun activities and recipes on the Au Pair in America Fall Holidays pinboard.

Photo: Tim Sackton (Flickr)

Thanksgiving is November 24

8218985089_5bc55ec863_nThanksgiving is a public holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November every year in the United States. It started as a harvest festival and has been celebrated nationally on and off since 1789.  The most important part of Thanksgiving for American families is to spend family time together.

Here are some fun facts about this special holiday:

  • The first Thanksgiving was held in the autumn of 1621 and included 50 Pilgrims and 90 Wampanoag Indians and lasted three days.
  • The first Thanksgiving was eaten with spoons and knives — but no forks! Forks weren’t even introduced to the Pilgrims until 10 years later and weren’t a popular utensil until the 18th century
  • Thanksgiving is the reason for TV dinners! In 1953, Swanson had so much extra turkey (260 tons) that a salesman told them they should package it onto aluminum trays with other sides like sweet potatoes — and the first TV dinner was invented
  • Presidential pardon of a turkey: Each year, the president pardons a turkey and spares it from being eaten for Thanksgiving dinner. The first turkey pardon ceremony started with President Truman in 1947. President Obama pardoned a 45-pound turkey named Courage, who has flown to Disneyland and served as Grand Marshal of the park’s Thanksgiving Day parade!
  • Why is Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November? President Abe Lincoln said Thanksgiving would be the fourth Thursday in November, but in 1939 President Roosevelt moved it up a week hoping it would help the shopping season during the Depression era. It never caught on and it was changed back two years later.
  • How did the tradition of watching football on Thanksgiving start? The NFL started the Thanksgiving Classic games in 1920 and since then the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys have hosted games on Turkey Day. In 2006, a third game was added with different teams hosting
  • About 90 % of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving Day
  • The ‘wishbone’ of the turkey is used in a good luck ritual on Thanksgiving Day.

Contest: First au pair in Christine and Lisa’s cluster to respond (via email or Facebook) with an answer to this will win a Starbucks gift card. What food are you most looking forward to trying for Thanksgiving? Contest Closed – Congratulations to our winner, Celine M.

Photo: Tim Sackton

Garland of Gratitude Craft

Below are the directions from Spoonful for this fun and easy project.

Garland of Gratitude

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Simple enough for kids to create on their own, these beautiful, textured leaves make a wonderful holiday tradition. Invite each guest to write something he or she is grateful for on a leaf, and watch the garland grow each year.

Materials
  • Colored construction paper
  • Pencil
  • Spray bottle (filled with water)
  • Scissors
  • Colored pencils
  • Twine or natural-colored string
  • Double-sided tape
Instructions
  1. Draw leaf shapes on colored construction paper, or download leaf templates and then trace on to colored construction paper.Make at least 1 leaf per guest plus others for decoration.
  2. Lay the paper on a covered work surface, then spray water over both sides so the whole surface is damp. Crumple the paper into a loose ball, flatten it out, and let it dry completely (which takes a few hours).
  3. Next, cut out the leaves and hand them to your guests to write on.
  4. Finally, make a garland by folding the stems over a length of string and taping them in place. Drape them from a sideboard, along a mantel, or from the top of a doorway.

Au Pair Holiday Memories – Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Dave and Margie HillI recently asked the au pairs in my cluster to share their favorite holiday memory from fall/winter 2011. I expected to have a lot of replies about Christmas, New Years and maybe Hanukkah. I was surprised that I received more replies about Thanksgiving than any other holiday. I suppose I take Thanksgiving for granted because growing up in the United States, I have celebrated every year of my life.

Below are some of the responses I received when I asked,
“What was your favorite 2011 holiday memory?”

sarkaŠárka from Czech Republic:
“Why THANKSGIVING? Well first of all we don’t celebrate this holiday in my country (Czech republic) so it was new for me. Second it was first holiday which I celebrated with my host family. Third Thanksgiving Day was simply perfect! I met relatives of family, I was the sous chef in the kitchen (haha). The food which I didn’t know was absolutely delicious. And the most important thing – the day I felt like a part of family which was great! I was talking to everyone, I wasn’t shy or something like this at all…  I was just really happy that I have the opportunity to be in the US. Day after Thanksgiving I left to New York and guess what? I was thinking of my host family all the weekend and I missed them. Every holiday was really good but Thanksgiving was special to me! I am grateful for that.

LiliLili from Mexico:
“Thanksgiving!! My first real American Thanksgiving. In many ways this it’s my favorite one because I met the grandparents from my kids, they’re so lovely “abuelitos”. They reminded me what is to have a grandpas, all the sweetness in the world. Then my host dad made an awesome turkey and meal, everyone enjoy it. Third I made my first apple pie as gift to my host family, as a symbol of gratitude to them, for the hospitality and great family they are. I was very happy to see all the family together it was so peace and I really feel like in home. Ahh and everybody loves my apple pie. It was really good. I feel happy cause for the dad of my host mom was like the apple pie her mom used to make when little. For last the season was great. The leaves from the trees falling. Ahh my, it’s so nice. Now my favorite season for sure its fall, all the different colors, brown, yellow, red…was the perfect Thanksgiving. I’m really happy and lucky to be here and experience it myself.

AlexAlex from Austria:
“Guess what my favorite holiday is in the States? again.. THANKSGIVING!!!
Christmas was always my favorite holiday, but maybe that was because we don’t have Thanksgiving in Austria. I cooked with the family, we ate all together. I met a lot of new family members, we were playing a Thanksgiving play that my host child got from school. We danced to a silly song and just had fun. The best part was their family tradition – they have every Thanksgiving the same table cloths. They are white with a lot of things written on it… every year everybody who is there has to write something on it:  something they are thankful for, a few nice words or just the name – it doesn’t matter. But it’s really cool. I got to write something on it too. It was great.
“They are the ugliest but most beautiful table clothes I have ever seen” (like everybody says in the family.)

swantjeSwantje from Germany:
“Mine was Thanksgiving too. Firstly it was my first holiday with the whole family in America. Secondly, the whole family came together. All aunts and uncles and their kids came to grandma’s. We played football with all of them, including grandma and grandpa. It was the first time I played it and it was so much fun for all. We had a great dinner with all the typical thing you can imagine … it was deeeelicious! It was so great to be with such a big family and I really enjoyed that day. I will remember it my whole life, I hope.