The spirit of Thanksgiving is about showing gratitude for your good fortune and giving to those who are less fortunate. Express your thanks this holiday season by involving the whole family in volunteering, donating, and spreading kindness. Try some of these FabULyss ideas to teach your children graciousness and goodwill.
In the month of November I try and get my entire family engaged with the spirit of doing good and giving back to the community. They study the holiday of Thanksgiving of course in school, however, I always try and bring the lessons back to real life at home. Being a good role model to our young children is very important. Below you will find a “LYSST” of some of my favorite ways to teach our children to show thanks at this holiday time.
I always gather up gently used toys and clothes and deliver them to the Salvation Army or Goodwill. I have the kids help me sort through things that they never use or wear, and we make piles and fill up bags to give away. The children understand that although they no longer use these items, there are many children that could.
You can make this holiday season one to remember for a hungry family. Offer a complete Thanksgiving dinner through your temple, church or an outreach organization in your community. Ask your children to help you with the shopping list. If your children are older they might be able to help you serve at a soup kitchen.
The holidays are a time for giving and togetherness. If you know someone who will be alone for the holidays, make him feel loved by inviting him to your family’s holiday dinner this year. The more, the merrier!
I always love getting the kids involved with setting the table and decorating the apartment. I have the kids write on cards at each place setting what they are thankful for this year. I also love when they decorate their own place mats with the theme of Thanksgiving in mind. My younger son loves this holiday so much because he gets to help my sister cook.
It’s important this holiday season to power down. No iPads or iPhones at the holiday dinner table. This is a special time to talk and to communicate with family members that you might not have seen in a long time or over the course of the year. I always like to set a children’s table next to the adult table. I make sure that the children interact with each other and talk to one another, and I add in some activities and games for the kids to play together. I keep coloring pages, markers, and stickers out on the kids’ table as well.
Gobble, gobble — and, of course, don’t forget to watch the Macy’s Day Parade. If you are either watching from your couch or on the sidelines (I will be with my family), enjoy the wonderful day with your family.
Lyss Stern is the founder of DivaLysscious Moms (www.divamoms.com).
Side note, here’s one of my favorite DeLysscious Thanksgiving dessert recipes, courtesy of the Food Network.
Nonstick cooking spray
1 prepared pie dough round
All-purpose flour for dusting
1 large egg white
Pecan pie filling:
1 1/3 cup pecan halves
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
Apple pie filling:
3 Granny Smith apples
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
Pumpkin pie filling:
1 cup pure pumpkin puree
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Unsweetened whipped cream, for serving
Special equipment: You’ll need a 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie pan, pie weights, and uncooked rice or dried beans.
DIRECTIONS: For the crust: Position the oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat the bottom and sides of a 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Roll the pie dough out, if needed, into a 10-inch round on a lightly-floured surface (or between two pieces of floured parchment paper). If the dough gets too warm, refrigerate it to firm up. Ease the dough into the prepared pie pan. Fold the overhanging dough under itself and crimp the edges as desired. Chill for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, spread the pecans out on a baking sheet, and bake until golden and toasted, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool and separate 1/3 cup; coarsely chop the 1/3 cup pecans for garnish and set aside.
Put the pie pan on a baking sheet and line the chilled pie crust with foil or a large coffee filter and fill with pie weights. Bake until the edges are just barely golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove the foil with weights, then brush the bottom and edges of the dough all over with the egg white and continue baking until the bottom of the crust is also just barely golden, 8 to 10 minutes more. Transfer to a rack and cool completely. (Pre-bake your pie shell up to one day in advance.)
For the pecan pie filling: Scatter the remaining 1 cup pecans in the bottom of the cooled pie shell. Whisk the corn syrup, brown sugar, butter, egg and 1/4 teaspoon salt together in a medium bowl. Pour the egg mixture over the pecans. Bake until just set, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the pie to a rack until cool to the touch.
For the apple pie filling: Meanwhile, peel, core and cut the apples into 1/4-inch slices. Toss with the granulated sugar and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, then add the apples and cook, gently stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft but still hold their shape, about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour and cool completely. (Spread the mixture out on a baking sheet in a thin layer to help cool faster).
Pile the cooled apple mixture up and around the edge of the cooled pie (directly on top of the pecan filling) leaving about an 8-inch well in the center of the pie.
For the pumpkin pie filling: Whisk together the pumpkin, heavy cream, granulated sugar, egg and spice in a medium bowl. Pour the filling into the center of the pie (directly on top of the pecan filling) with the apples as a border.
Bake the pie until the pumpkin center is set with just a slight jiggle, 50 minutes to 1 hour. If the crust gets too brown, cover with foil or a pie crust shield. Let the pie cool completely on a rack.
Sprinkle the reserved 1/3 cup chopped pecans around the pie, snug up against the apple filling. Slice and serve with dollops of whipped cream.