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(Almost) Everything You’ll Need for a Great Thanksgiving (With kids or without!)

Posted by on November 27, 2013

by Amelia’s Big Sister

While Amelia is still down for the count, I volunteered to step in and supply her faithful readers with some Thanksgiving resources: recipes, books, prayers and even some songs to accompany your turkey dinner (or random Thursday in late-November). Whether you’re an American overseas, an international friend hoping to learn more about this holiday, or preparing your own feast in the States, I hope that you’ll find something useful.



First of all, what is a celebration without music? I originally found the idea for a “Thanksgiving Playlist” here at Creative Party Ideas. I used my own iTunes library to supplement, add more songs, and come up with this list. Ninety minutes of songs about home, togetherness, and yes, “What a Wonderful World” we live in. (Who knew there were so many covers of Louis’ classic?)

It honestly never occurred to me to make a Thanksgiving playlist, and I’m excited to have it in the background as we prepare and eat this year. With the exception of “Turkey in the Straw” and “Ten Little Indians” (yeah, I went there), I think it could be a great list for any holiday gathering.

Amazing World by Nestor Sanchez            (Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?)

Beautiful World (We’re All Here) with Adam Crossley by Jim Brickman (Beautiful World)

Food Glorious Food by The London Theatre Orchestra and Cast         (Oliver!)

Home by Jenny Bruce (Martha Stewart – Baby: Sleepytime)

Home by Michael Bublé (It’s Time)

Home by Phillip Phillips

Homeward Bound by Simon & Garfunkel (The Best of Simon & Garfunkel)

I’ve Got Plenty To Be Thankful For by Bing Crosby (Holiday Inn,  Holiday)

It Really Is (A Wonderful Life) by Mindy Smith (My Holiday)

Ito Eats by Elvis Presley (Blue Hawaii: Collector’s Edition)

My Home by Persuasions (Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?)

One Sweet World by Dave Matthews Band (Live On Lakeside)

Small Town by John Mellencamp (John Mellencamp’s Greatest Hits)

Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver (The Essential John Denver)

Ten Little Indians by Disneyland Children’s Sing-Along Chorus (Children’s Favorite Songs)

Thankful by Josh Groban (Noel)

Thanksgiving Day by John McCutcheon (John McCutcheon’s Four Seasons: Autumn Songs)

Thanksgiving Day by Tom Chapin (Mother Earth            Children’s Music)

Thanksgiving Theme            by Vince Guaraldi Trio (A Charlie Brown Christmas)

(There’s No Place Like) Home For The Holidays by Robert Goulet (We Wish You a Merry Christmas)

Things I’m Thankful For by Hap Palmer (Holiday Magic)

Turkey In the Straw by Phil Rosenthal (Turkey In the Straw)

We Are Family by Sister Sledge (We Are Family)

What A Wonderful World by Beth Orton (Winter Wonderland)

What A Wonderful World by Raffi (Let’s Play)

Wonderful (The Way I Feel) by My Morning Jacket

Wonderful World by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (Wonderful World)



If there’s one thing that Amelia and I were raised to love more than good music, it’s books. Our childhood home was positively full of books—tucked in every corner and part of nearly every discussion. I strive to keep our home full of books and my children know that a visit to the Library is part of our weekly routine. While there are a plethora of Christmas books out there, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and quantity of Thanksgiving-related books to be found.

Preschool Kids:

Everyone knows the “Old Lady,” well, now she swallowed a pie: I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Pie. The repetition and revisiting of a familiar character and situation helps improve memory function and foster a love of reading.

For many holidays, we have one or both of similar books by these authors.  What Is Thanksgiving? and The Story of Thanksgiving both spell out in very simple ideas what the holiday is and why we celebrate it. They are board books, so good for very little babies to handle, while the message holds for many years.

And of course we can always visit the classic storybook friends celebrating Thanksgiving,  like Corduroy, Biscuit, (and Biscuit, that dog likes Thanksgiving), Curious George and Clifford.












Elementary Kids:

Our new favorites this year are for the early elementary school crowd (ages 5-10).

Balloons Over Broadway tells the story of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade balloons.

Squanto’s Journey is the fascinating and true story of Squanto’s life and the role he played with the Pilgrims.

One is a Feast for a Mouse helped us learn about making sure our eyes aren’t bigger than our stomach!

The First Thanksgiving was a surprise favorite for us—everyone in our family learned something as the Thanksgiving story was presented in a simple and historically accurate way.

This First Thanksgiving Day is a beautifully illustrated counting book.

A Turkey for Thanksgiving makes the reader wonder, does Mrs. Moose want a turkey ON her Thanksgiving table or sitting AT it?

The Candy Corn Contest-for emerging independent readers, this is a straightforward chapter book about boys in 2nd grade in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.

If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620-Middle- to older-Elementary school age kids will love diving into this question and answer format book that helps them imagine what life would have been like as a Pilgrim.



Finally, here are some very useful links from people who have their stuff way more together than the two of us!

The Easiest Thanksgiving that anyone can make (If you think this looks daunting, you’ve clearly never cooked a Thanksgiving meal from start to finish! This is genius and I’m using it tomorrow.)

A Beautiful Prayer for the Home @ Life in Grace She has such a way with words. If she’s not on your blog reader, she should be.

Cinnamon Cupcakes with Pumpkin Pie Frosting YUM. While our dessert table may be full tomorrow, there’s no reason why these can’t be a December treat!

Maple Pecan Sweet Potato Casserole These are a few of my favorite things…

Free Williams-Sonoma Thanksgiving Cookbook for your Mac or iOS device Everyone can use a cookbook. Especially a free one.

“Feeling Especially Thankful for…” Cards to print for your table To help you be intentional with your giving of the thanks.

10 Recipes for your Thanksgiving Leftovers Nobody likes a cold turkey and cranberry sandwich. (Besides our dad.) Here are some better ideas.

Tree of Thanks, craft with kids For all of your free time. (Just pin it for next year!)


No matter where you are, no matter who you’re with, Amelia and I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

2 Responses to (Almost) Everything You’ll Need for a Great Thanksgiving (With kids or without!)

  1. Amelia's Dad

    Only if that leftover turkey and cranberry sandwich has stuffing (dressing) in it! Great playlist — thanks!

  2. American Punjaban PI

    Happy Belated Thanksgiving!!

    I nominated you as one of my favorite bloggers!

Thoughts? I love hearing from you!