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Celebrate Thanksgiving on a Budget

We're all aware that there's a recession going on and it doesn't look like it's going to disappear any time soon. Many people are looking to see how they can manage thanksgiving on a smaller budget this year.

It's often the one holiday when we walk the stores and collect anything on the conveyor belt without considering the cost. Times have changed for many people from all walks of life.

Giving Instead of Receiving

Despite being short of funds, many people are thinking about staying at home or going out to enjoy a day with friends by volunteering to help others or donating some of the money they would have spent on Thanksgiving Day to more needy people.

Some folks are looking at new ways (which are really old ways just redesigned) to make Thanksgiving special.

Talk Thanksgiving Memories

One sure fire way to build up conversation and links between age groups is to reminisce with different generations. Whatever age you are, you can ask relatives about their memories of Thanksgiving Day in years gone by.

You can write down their thoughts or record them straight to your cell phone or camcorder. If you prepare this well in advance you can share those thoughts with other members of your family on Thanksgiving Day.

This is a sure way to develop fun between the different ages and encourages talking; something younger people appear to have forgotten about while on their favorite social networks and computers.

Go Green

Having a green Thanksgiving is another idea to tempt the imagination of children as well as their parents or guardians. Think about the food you can eat and how you can cook it. Compare your usual activities at Thanksgiving and see what consumes energy, what causes emissions. How can you cut down your carbon usage? Think local rather than ski hotels Sweden unless you live in the Nordic country.

Children's Thanksgiving Activities

You'll need to plan well ahead for children's games to be successful and not just a five minute wonder, but taking the time to plan activities can bring together the whole family. Remember it's not just the children who should play kids' games; get the whole family involved.

Thanksgiving Trees

Some people told of how as children they'd collect leaves in the fall. They'd preserve them in clear paper and sometimes make a Thanksgiving tree. Going back to the real theme of Thanksgiving Day, the children would write down what they were grateful for against each leaf.

If you follow this tradition, each year becomes a great time to review what they have written before and to see what this year brings. Don't forget to date them so you know what you thought and when! The tree idea can be made out of anything waiting to be recycled.

Thanksgiving Turkeys

Another twist on the tree is to make a Thanksgiving turkey, also from recycled goods. Instead of leaves they can collect feathers and stick them onto the turkey. As time goes by the turkey gets covered with more and more feathers with a full story to be told.

Think Pilgrims

When you're thinking about the children's activities and how they can include the adults, blindfold games are always a success. Everyone thinks they can do better until it’s their turn.

The Pilgrims’ 1620 voyage can be the theme of the game and it's something you can play indoors or outdoors, depending on where you live. Picking a person to represent the new world they can stand on a chair at one end of a room. Someone else can be the Mayflower. They stand blindfolded at the other end of the room/garden. All the other family or friends become rocks in the way. The new world gives directions for the Mayflower to find its way to the new world without hitting a single rock and finally making its way to safe ground, the harbor.

These Thanksgiving celebration ideas don't have to cost a lot and can lead to fun for the whole family. Why not plan for some of these as the holiday season approaches?

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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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