“There are millions of reasons to feel grateful. Acknowledge them all, big and small, on Thanksgiving day and every day, and you just may put yourself on the path to better health.” (Real Simple)
People often consider Thanksgiving to be one of the most special days of the year – and for good reason. Families can gather together to enjoy time with one another, slowing down the pace to appreciate the blessings of the year, and celebrating with a feast of the fall harvest.
Taking a break from your hectic schedule feels good – and expressing gratitude is actually a healthy practice! Robert Emmons, a pioneer of gratitude research – and a professor of psychology – did a study that showed how people who wrote down why they felt grateful became 25 percent happier for a full six months. Even more amazing, this result occurred after people wrote in a gratitude journal for only three weeks.
People who kept these gratitude journals found they had more energy, and this practice “has also been associated with improved kidney function, reduced blood-pressure and stress-hormone levels, and a stronger heart.” People who focus on gratitude are more resilient and experience better relationships with others.
Thanksgiving Day would be a perfect time to start keeping your own gratitude journal. It’s also a marvelous time to honor family traditions – and to start new ones. We looked around to see what traditions we could add, and here are just a few:
Enjoy an “indulgent, relaxing breakfast.” TheKitchn.com says the following: “While some people are firmly in the ‘no breakfast’ camp to save room for the big meal later, we love the idea of starting the day in such a festive, delicious way! Pancakes, waffles, eggs, even pie — it's all good.”
Share fun facts about the holiday with your children in an age-appropriate way. Kids.NationalGeographic.com helps with that.
ThoughtCo.com suggest that you “Take advantage of the special family time to go through old family photo albums with Grandma and have her help you with the names that go with the faces.” They even offer 50 questions to consider asking.
Care.com recommends that you take a plain white tablecloth and hand out fabric markers so everyone can write down a reason for to be grateful (followed by their names and the date). You can use this Thanksgiving tablecloth, year after year, and add to it.
“Our present-day Thanksgiving feast . . . is a symbolic act of renewal which rekindles American ideals and virtues in the psyche. That’s the great power and beauty of food . . . You should eat it again in order to redo the ritual. The identity that you gain from it is never final.” (News.Rutgers.edu)
The Thanksgiving meal is a tangible symbol of the love that family and friends feel for one another. If you’re looking for a way to provide farm-fresh ingredients for your special meal, we want to share that we’ve put together a fall favorites box that includes:
Young carrot mix, trimmed
Micro-Thanksgiving blend of herbs
Mixed root spinach
No two families are alike, so we’ve made a small box (feeds six) and a large one (feeds twelve). Please order by Monday, November 20 at 9 a.m. You can order up to seven days before your special meal, but factor in one to two days for shipping. Put your package in the refrigerator when it arrives and use the produce within five days for maximum freshness.
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at The Chef’s Garden and the Culinary Vegetable Institute! We are truly grateful for each and every one of you.