'Thanksgiving' - 26th November

"Keep your eyes open to your mercies. The man who forgets to be thankful has fallen asleep in life."

Robert Louis Stevenson

The Thanksgiving holiday is always on the fourth Thursday of November, that is the 26th of this month. Hence this was the theme of this week's virtual CST Friendship Group.

(We asked members to wear their favourite American themed t-shirt.)

We went around the room and asked members ...

- What are they most thankful for?

- What is their happiest memory?

- What is the life achievement or decision they are most proud of?

- Are there any regrets about missed opportunities?

- What about 'Bucket List' ambitions of things to do or places to visit?

- Has anyone visited America? What places would members recommend?


Complete these phrases with members ....

Count your BLESSINGS

A blessing in DISGUISE

Thank your lucky STARS

Thank God for small MERCIES


Pearls of WISDOM

Better late than NEVER

So far so GOOD

Piece of CAKE

The best of both WORLDS

A bird in the hand is worth two in THE BUSH

Actions speak louder than WORDS

Do unto others as you would have them DO UNTO YOU

Don't cry over SPILT MILK

Every cloud has a SILVER LINING

Good things come to those who WAIT

It ain't over 'til the fat lady SINGS

The best thing since SLICED BREAD

Take it with a pinch of SALT

Come rain or SHINE

Fortune favours the BOLD / BRAVE

Make hay while the sun SHINES

Through thick and THIN

Weather the STORM

Like a turkey voting for CHRISTMAS

On cloud NINE



Reduce content as necessary, according to the needs of your group and the time available. Give lots of clues, such as first names or initials. Encourage discussion and storytelling. Focus on engagement and inclusion, rather than competition.

ROUND 1. History

1. Which Italian explorer and navigator is said to have discovered the Americas in 1492?

2. What was the name of the ship which brought the Pilgrims from Plymouth in the UK to Cape Cod in Massachussets, North America in November 1621?

3. The Pilgrims were given another name because they wanted to purify the teachings and ceremonies of the Church of England. What was their other name?

4. The Pilgrims only “celebrated” one day (each week), aside from Thanksgiving and Fasting Days, which were unplanned in response to challenges such as drought or flood. What was it?

5. How did the Wampanoag Tribe help the Pilgrims soon after their arrival and first awful winter, when more than half of them died?

6. Which US President proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day in 1863, during the Civil War (before that different states celebrated in different days)?

7. In 1784 Benjamin Franklin suggested the turkey be the national bird of the U.S.A., because they were so important to tradition and culture (and they are a brave bird). Which bird was later chosen instead?

8. SONG. 'Star Spangled Banner', Whitney Houston - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3FdTKhzZWU

Approximately how many turkeys are eaten each year on Thanksgiving in the United States?

Or, How many Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving (percentage)?

ROUND 2. Pardoning Turkeys

Identify these US Presidents pardoning turkeys, which is a tradition since 1947?

9. Name the President?

Where was he assassinated in 1963?

10. Name the President?

What was the scandal he was associated with called?

11. Name the President?

What was his wife's name?

12. Name the President?

Which woman did he 'not have sexual relations with'?

13. Name the President?

Who was UK Prime Minister at the time, that supported the 'War On Terror'?

14. Name the President?

Where was he born?

15. Name the President?

What reality TV series did he most recently present?

16. SONG. 'Thank You Very Much', The Scaffold - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjnkmNyArNg

Which Christmas tin of sweets was this song used to advertise in the 1970s?

ROUND 3. Food

17. Can turkeys fly?

Do all turkeys gobble?

18. Which part of a turkey can give you good luck, according to legend?

19. How do you tell if cranberries are ripe? Do you: a. Bounce them, b. See if they float or c. Check their colour inside

20. Creamed corn is an important dish in a Thanksgiving dinner. Which large happy man used to advertise sweetcorn in the UK?

21. Similarly pumpkin pie is an important tradition. What are the ingredients of 'Mixed Spice', which is used to flavour it?

22. What is the 'national drink of America', or "native spirit"?

23. True or False. Does eating turkey make you sleepy?

24. SONG. 'American Pie', Don McLean - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STbcPHAR0Qs

List some other types of pie?

ROUND 4. TV & Film

25. Name these three characters, from a famous 1974 children's Thanksgiving film?

26. In which American city was the TV comedy series 'Cheers' set?

TV theme - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rS0VQOHX7lM

27. Which Andrew wrote the song 'Thank You For Being A Friend', which was used as the theme tune for the TV comedy series 'The Golden Girls'?

TV theme - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HV7AXRABSng

28. Which character in the 'Thanksgiving' episode of there TV comedy series 'Friends' got a turkey stuck on her head? Which other character is pictured here, who told her after this scene that he loved her?

TV theme - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLisEEwYZvw

29. Name this 1987 Thanksgiving film, starring Steve Martin and John Candy?

30. Name as many children as you can in the TV drama series 'The Waltons'?

TV theme - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpmRcP8S7Bo

31. In which 1939 movie did the character Scarlett O'Hara say "As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again."

Also, who played her character?

32. SONG. 'Make Someone Happy', Jimmy Durante - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88ysQcoZUNY

Which 1993 movie was this song used in? And where did the main characters, played by Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, finally meet?

ROUND 5. Iconic American Landmarks

33. What metal is the 'Statue of Liberty' made of?

34. In which US city would you find the 'Liberty Bell'?

35. Which four US Presidents are carved into 'Mount Rushmore'?

36. In which US city would you find the 'Golden Gate Bridge'?

Which island prison is nearby?

37. In which US city is 'Hollywood'?

Which four letters used to be at the end of the sign?

38. What 'Garden Of Remembrance' is pictured here in front of the new 'One World Trade Center' in New York?

39. Who will live here from January 2021?

40. SONG. 'What A Wonderful World', Louis Armstrong - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-T6aaRV9HY

What was Louis Armstrong's nickname?


41. SONG. 'Thanks For The Memories', Bob Hope & Dorothy Lamour - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmE7gVkK14I

In the 'Road To ....' movies, who always co-starred alongside Bob Hope?


42. SONG. 'Magic Moments', Perry Como - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=su2g1wTdTMo

This song also helped advertise chocolates. Which ones?

(The song was also used as the name and music for a fictional 'Surprise, Surprise' show in the Victoria Wood TV drama 'PAT AND MARGARET')


A traditional Thanksgiving dinner consists of:

- Roast Turkey, with stuffing

- Mashed potato

- Gravy

- Cranberry sauce

- Corn, grilled or creamed

- Green bean casserole or Brussels sprouts with bacon

- Cracked pepper bread rolls

- Candied sweet potato or yams

- Pumpkin pie or Pecan pie

Ask members to comment on the above meal and how it compares to our Christmas Day feast?

What are people planning to have to eat on Christmas Day this year?

Who will they celebrate it with?

Have any decorations gone up yet?

The day after Thanksgiving, when people head for the sales, is commonly referred to as 'Black Friday'. Ask members who likes going shopping in the New Year sales?


Next, ask members to guess at the alternative American words for everyday English words.

Biscuit - COOKIE


Crisps - CHIPS

Aubergine - EGGPLANT

Courgette - ZUCCHINI

Spring onion - SCALLION

Beetroot - BEETS



Coriander - CILANTRO

Porridge - OATMEAL

Treacle - MOLASSES

Mincemeat - GROUND BEEF OR PORK (Remember the 'Trifle' episode of 'Friends')

Ice lolly - POPSICLE

Sweets - CANDY

Candy floss - COTTON CANDY


Jelly - JELLO

Trainers - SNEAKERS


Jumper - SWEATER

Tissue - KLEENEX

Nappy - DIAPER


Vacuum - HOOVER



Underground - SUBWAY

Pavement - SIDEWALK

Zebra crossing - CROSSWALK


Chemist - PHARMACY

High Street - MAIN STREET

Lorry - TRUCK

Estate car - STATION WAGON

Motorway - HIGHWAY

Flyover - OVERPASS

Diversion - DETOUR

Car park - PARKING LOT

Petrol - GAS

Queue - LINE

Post - MAIL

Post code - ZIP CODE

Timetable - SCHEDULE

Rubber - ERASER


Mobile phone - CELL PHONE

Car boot - TRUNK

Car bonnet - HOOD

Takeaway - TAKEOUT


Holiday - VACATION

Autumn - FALL

Noughts and crosses - TIC TAC TOE

Football - SOCCER

Full stop - PERIOD

SONG. 'Let's Call The Whole Thing Off', Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRrw2hDjnl4

Here's a classic Gershwin song to go with this activity.


We suggest you print off some outline images to make 'Thank You' cards together. Adult colouring is always an enjoyable activity for our group.

Discuss with members who they would most like to say 'Thank You' too and for what reasons?

Another option would be to download onto phones or laptops, if you have these available, the following apps.

Happy Colour - Colour By Numbers, created by https://x-flow.app


Colorfy, created by www.colorfy.net

(both available in the iOS App Store or Google Playstore)

'Happy Colour' requires you to use your finger or a dabber to colour in numbered sections of an image. If you get stuck an assist button is available.