Nov 20, 2013

Doing Thanksgiving Our Way...Kendra Thornton and Me


A few weeks ago Kendra Thornton, a former Director of Corporate Communications at Orbitz.com and founder of Thornton Public Relations, approached me with the idea of publishing a partnership piece about our Thanksgiving celebration. Ms. Thornton has appeared on ABC, NBC and local TV markets located in Chicago and New York City to mention a few. You may have also seen her on Fine Living Network or The Tyra Banks show. Even though she is a very busy woman, when it comes to Thanksgiving, she is at home doing what we all do...cooking up memories.

Her bio says "I am a long time travel expert who has been packing my bags and traveling the world since I was 3 months old! I've found my utmost desire in life is right here in my own home with raising my three wonderful children. I am getting ready to celebrate the Thanksgiving season and are so happy to let you in on some of my very own traditions!"


I am thrilled to join her in this Thanksgiving holiday post.

The Thornton Thanksgiving from Chicago 
As the leaves start falling, families are starting to recognize what time of year it is. The outdoor air is starting to freeze, and many families have already started making plans. Out of all of the holidays, I really love Thanksgiving because of what it represents; gratitude and giving thanks for what you have. In the Thornton household, we’ll have many relatives visiting our home in Chicago this year and I can’t wait!
Pinterest has been a lifesaver this year as I’ve been looking for recipes that I can make with my kids, which will make Thanksgiving that much more enjoyable. As my kids grow older, I feel like they really enjoy giving me assistance in the kitchen. I think my kids really enjoy helping me with simple, fun and festive desserts. I have to keep an eye that they won’t be dipping their fingers in any extra frosting though! I find that simpler the recipe, the less hassle and cleanup it’s going to be for me in the kitchen!
It’s always enjoyable and delicious to have a traditional type of Thanksgiving dinner. When making a Thanksgiving meal, I always use my favorite staple foods like, turkey (of course), stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy (my favorite) stuffing, cranberry sauce and pea casserole! However, this year, I’ve decided I want to make some unique dishes as a little added twist!
I came across a great article on Gogobot called, “Turkey Trimmed to the Nines,” and it talks about what five luxury hotels are offering their guests this year for Thanksgiving dinner. I read about the Waldorf Astoria, which is located in Orlando, and how chefs there are planning to create a velvety pumpkin soup that is accented with lobster. I’ve decided to try to make this meal because nothing warms my heart and soul like a tasty soup!
My relatives and family know how grateful I am for each and every one of them in my life; however, the Thornton family has somewhat of a ritual, and every year, everyone at the table describes something they’re grateful for. I think it is a great reminder for everyone to share what it is they are thankful for in life or what is their favorite Thanksgiving memory from years past.
I would love it if you adopted this little tradition at your table this year and say out loud what it is you appreciate. I truly hope your Thanksgiving holiday is safe and enjoyable, and that it is filled with unforgettable memories and some of the tastiest foods imaginable. Have an amazing Thanksgiving holiday!
The Torris Thanksgiving from Tucson, AZ
The joy of friendship in a season of plenty! My neighbors Dee and Nan.
Here in Tucson the temperature is about 70-75 degrees during the day and we still eat outside on our porch almost every day. We live in an RV resort during the winter months. Our home is a small park model and our neighbors are very close to us both physically and emotionally.  
Family is far away. In Portland, Oregon where winter is fast approaching, our two youngest children and their families will have dinner together on Thanksgiving  Our other family is scattered around the world...one son and his family in China, a grandson in the Marines in Virginia, other grandchildren in college.
It usually snows in Oregon over Thanksgiving weekend, so the Christmas holiday gets a wonderful welcome. Here in Tucson where the air is warm and the skies are blue, we celebrate Thanksgiving with friends. Many people have decorated their little houses with Christmas lights. We too are feeling the holidays approaching. 
This year our dinner will be catered so those of us that long for "leftovers" will cook a small turkey at home. That way we can have part of what we love about this holiday celebration...good homemade food. (Catering is wonderful but I have to admit that we are all very good cooks and try new recipes all the time.)
We will decorate our table "Sandra Lee Tablescape" style. I love Pinterest too so I will see if I like any ideas from that website. We will have a beautiful table setting.
The joy of being with friends fills our hearts. Talk will always turn to bygone Thanksgivings and what our families are doing at home. Family traditions are a part of our day even though we are not with our families.
We are all part of a generation of people that know about video chatting or at the very least the telephone. We spend part of the day connecting with all those people that are young and back home wherever that is. 
If there is a new James Bond movie or something equally as appealing to both the men and the women, we will go to the movies. If not, we will spend the afternoon in front of the TV watching a football game(or three). Some online shopping (we are doing our part for the economy) or a new book might fill the rest of our day. We always walk a little or might even play some golf. No matter what, it is always a day to remember.
This season is a reminder that we are happy and so extremely grateful for all of our blessing, beautiful families and beloved friends. Things are changing in our lives but it is still very good. We love our life.
So, as you can see, Kendra and I celebrate in very different ways. Her Thanksgiving reminds me of my former life. I loved her words, " I truly hope your Thanksgiving holiday is safe and enjoyable, and that it is filled with unforgettable memories and some of the tastiest foods imaginable. Have an amazing Thanksgiving holiday!" Isn't that perfect.

Thanksgiving Blessing
Dear God,
Thank you.
Please bless those we love no matter where they are.
Amen
Note: I was not paid for this post...it was a pure joy to put it together.

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