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Why Did Abraham Lincoln Pardon a Turkey?

President Trump pardoned the Thanksgiving turkey yesterday, continuing a long and surprising tradition.

Such clemency apparently began with President Lincoln in 1863. Two years later, a White House reporter noted that “a live turkey had been brought home for the Christmas dinner.” However, Lincoln’s son Tad “interceded in behalf of its life . . . [his] plea was admitted and the turkey’s life spared.”

Why Halloween is Much More Dangerous for Adults than Kids

I grew up in a day when Halloween was little more than pumpkins, fall festivals, hayrides and dressing up as a pirate or a farmer to go trick-or-treating. And that’s also what it was like for my (now) very post-Halloween-age children. But while I still hold to the childlike fun the night can hold, I no longer view the day itself as innocent.

10 Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving without the Usual Big Meal

We North Americans tend to have a difficult time breaking with tradition when it comes to Thanksgiving but sometimes the image of the elaborate turkey presentation and the polished silverware and the gleaming crystal just doesn’t make sense. I love Norman Rockwell paintings as much as the next red-blooded American, but there are years when gathering around a fancy table just doesn’t work.

In honor of good ol’ American ingenuity and creativity, here are 10 ways to celebrate Thanksgiving without the usual big meal.

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/romrodinka

9 Ways to Have a Happy Thanksgiving with Your Family

Let’s begin by speaking this right now:
You are not required to be Martha Stewart in order to have a happy Thanksgiving. Now, if you’re into seasonal linens, leaf wreaths, decorative centerpieces, and baking turkey-shaped loaves of bread and Pinterest-perfect pumpkin pies, more power, admiration, and gratitude to you: the non-hospitality-gifted world thanks you.

What makes Thanksgiving a joy-filled and gratitude-laced occasion isn’t the things themselves but the fact of togetherness. Everything else is a carrier for joy.

Here are nine ways to have a happy Thanksgiving with your family:



What Is Christmas: Understanding the History and Origin

Christmas is so full of wonder, meaning and tradition. But, where did all these things that we now call "Christmas" come from? Let's briefly sketch the origin and development of what we now celebrate as Christ's birth.

Below we will look at the origins of Christmas, holiday traditions (and their Christian significance!), favorite Christmas carols, Scripture about the nativity story and birth of Jesus, and history you might not know:

5 Ways We Can (and Should!) Keep Celebrating Easter after the Actual Day

You can always tell that Christmas is coming, even before it’s close. Radio stations start playing Christmas carols before we’ve even eaten all the Halloween candy, and commercials beckon us to start our shopping before we’ve even bought our Thanksgiving turkeys. Our nativity scenes are set up for weeks, and our advent calendars keep us counting down to the day baby Jesus entered our world. Christmas isn’t celebrated on just one day-- it gets a whole, long season.

Easter on the other hand? Usually, Christians dress up for one fancy Sunday service and forget about it all days later.

“Why do we spend an entire season of the year thinking about and celebrating Christmas, but just a weekend thinking about and celebrating the impact of the resurrection,” Trevin Wax asks.

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/kevron2001

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