Best Thanksgiving Feast Ever

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Written by: giantsbook
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Put away the flamingos and put this turkey on your lawn!
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Put away the flamingos and put this turkey on your lawn!

1. Make a Wish!

Is there any holiday better than Thanksgiving? What a wonderful notion: Get together with family and friends, reflect on the things you love about life, and eat a fabulous feast. The minute Halloween is over, I'm already getting the Thanksgiving decorations out and planning the menu.  
I'd do it every week if I could, but it's not just the weight gain that I fear — it's losing the special feeling of the annual nature of the gathering. Still, I often wind up cooking another turkey the next week, just to hang onto the good vibes a little longer. 
There are several things you can find out there to take a traditional Thanksgiving and make it even more fabulous. Build better memories with these tips, thinking not only of the meal, but of all the other activities that surround it.
Gobble gobble!
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Gobble gobble!

2. Trotting Out The Turkey

It is all about the food - everything else is gravy! The first thing you'll need is the right dishes, and a nice sharp knife for carving the turkey. (And if the knife isn't sharp —  sharpen it, either with a sharpening system or, my own preference, a sharpening stone.)  
You can buy some beautiful dishes designed for cranberry sauce, perhaps the most important ingredient on the table, in my opinion. I usually make several kinds of sauce, so you may want more than one dish.  If you don't want to make it, you can even buy the sauce; you can get a sense of how crucial cranberries are to the tradition if you look at the vintage jars and ads for sale. 
There's more than one way to stuff a turkey!
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There's more than one way to stuff a turkey!

3. Now You're Cooking

Don't just rely on the Internet for Thanksgiving recipes; I recommend a   good cookbook, and there are many specialsing in Thanksgiving, including one from Williams-Sonoma, an outstanding source. 
What could be hiding under this ceramic cover?
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What could be hiding under this ceramic cover?

4. Put Out The Pie

If pumpkin pie is part of your routine, as it is mine (I make the recipe from the Moosewood Cookbook), you might want a special and spectacular  pumpkin pie plate, to make a special entrance. And don't worry - there are plates for  pecan pie and    apple pie as well. I couldn't find a special plate for mincemeat pie, that rare delicacy, but I could find the  mincemeat! If pie's not your thing, fear not; you can make cupcakes and give them  special Thanksgiving toppers. 
Smells like Thanksgiving!
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Smells like Thanksgiving!

5. Light Your Candle

While I love the aroma of the food cooking, you can complement that with a Thanksgiving candle. Some of them even smell like particular dishes - there are cranberry candles and  pumpkin pie candles, of course, and even   stuffing candles. (That last one sounded a little strange to me at first, but I do love the smell of stuffing!)
Pin the pilgrim hat on the turkey!
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Pin the pilgrim hat on the turkey!

6. Entertain the Troops

Now that you've arranged the ultimate gut-buster, you'll want to entertain your guests. 
I think it's always a good move to have some games to play to bring the family together. There are some fun  Thanksgiving games out there, including pin the hat on the turkey, Parade-opoly (a version of Monopoly based on the Macy's parade) and  turkey piñatas. My own personal favourite at family gatherings: That old standby,  Uno. It comes in many varieties, people of all ages can play it, and when you get hit with a Draw-4, watch out!   
Make sure you have a  big screen TV for watching the Macy's parade and the traditional Thanksgiving football games. You may even want your own football; you can't beat throwing the pigskin around on Thanksgiving while the turkey cooks. 
Walk off those calories!
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Walk off those calories!

7. Take a hike!

Usually with such a big meal, I try to get a hike in before the Tryptophan knocks me out. I recommend a sturdy pair of  hiking boots, a good hiking stick, and a  metal water bottle. Stay hydrated and be kind to Mother Earth — thankful, even!   
I even give timely tips on how to have a great fantasy football season!
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I even give timely tips on how to have a great fantasy football season!

Thank You, and Read On!

What am I thankful for? Among many things, I am thankful for engaged readers like you, making it this far in my guide! You can find more holiday cheer, inspiration and gift ideas on eBay. If you liked this guide, please take a look at some of  my other guides, many of which are sports-related. I wrote one about   how sports fans plug in to technology, one about  the most recent NBA playoffs (hail to the Warriors!), and several about baseball, especially  my beloved San Francisco Giants. (Do I need to point out that they are the defending champions as well, at least for a few more weeks?) Thanks!  
Bam bam!
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Bam bam!
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