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Turkey Day: Thanks for the Tradition

Nationalturkey Thanksgiving brings to mind tradition and family, I think more than any other holiday. It's not about gifts or firecrackers or diamond engagement rings.  It's about family, good food and giving thanks.  Writing this blog, thinking about all the good food I will eat tomorrow, I thought about Turkey Day traditions, including my own.   Raised by a single mom who worked in the hotel industry (the type of business that never closes like hospital work), she typically worked on the holiday.  

So at around twelve years old, I decided I would start my own tradition of making the turkey and preparing the feast.  My sister who was very much a teenager by this point, decided that this was a great idea because it meant  she could sleep in. It was also a win-win for her because if I succeeded, (by the way I had not cooked up until this point), it meant she ate well.  If I failed she could laugh at me.  But I was very much seeking a traditional thanksgiving,  My mom would usually get off work around three o'clock and we would go to a fancy brunch at The Ritz, but I wanted more.  So it was final.  I would cook the feast.  My family agreed.  We bought a huge turkey and I did my thing.  I added juices like cranberry juice and orange to the skin, very tasty and very moist.  The feast was fabulous, the only down side, it became my job every year until I moved out.  So much for tradition! Macystdayparade

Other fun traditions and Turkey Day tidbits...did you know that around 280 million turkeys are sold for Thanksgiving each year.   Also Thanksgiving was first declared a National Day in 1789 by George Washington.  And, check this out.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Minnesota is the top turkey-producing state in America, with a planned production total of 49 million in 2008. Just six states—Minnesota, North Carolina, Arkansas, Virginia, Missouri and Indiana—will probably produce two-thirds of the estimated 271 million birds that will be raised in the U.S. this year. 

Also most folks in the States do not know Canada, that also celebrates a Thanksgiving day.   Canada Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October. Unlike the American tradition that started with the Pilgrims Canadians actually just give thanks for the crops and the harvest. Because the harvest season is earlier since is father North thus they have an earlier celebration.

Also most Americans celebrate their college and high schol football rivalries.  Mine was Boston Latin and English High, very tense. Also the Macy's Thanksgiving parade began in 1924 and now over 46 million people enjoy it in New York or on their TV sets.

I bet you are also wondering how we ended up celebrating with the turkey on the last Thursday of November.  That was Congress' fault.  In 1941 they decided to sanction that as the official day.

Ussoldiersthanksgiving Thankfully, even soldiers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry-Baghdad, will celebrate this special day this year. Three months ago, the plans began for the celebration so soldiers who are far away from home on November 27 will be able to enjoy a traditional feast of Thanksgiving. 

Sure, it's a great day to over-indulge and enjoy the party, but don't forget to give thanks for all the auditions you got, all the parts you booked, all the strides you made and most importantly for the people that supported you this year in your career.   This is the first Thanksgiving without my father and he was a big cheerleader of mine.  So keep your loved ones close.  Happy Thanksgiving and maybe next year you will be so famous you won't even be able to go buy the turkey without wearing shades. 

One can always dream!

-- Heather Langone

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