'Thanksgiving' 🦃 Thursday, 25 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 25th 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 on 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

How many stars are on the UK flag? Think States.

You could also list as many US States as you can?

ROUND 2. Pardoning Turkeys

Identify these US Presidents pardoning turkeys, which has been 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 present, before becoming what is said to be 'the most powerful man in the world'?

16. VIDEO BREAK. Here is Marilyn Monroe singing 'Happy Birthday' to JFK in May 1962 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqolSvoWNck

What was her real name?

17. SONG. 'Candle in The Wind', Elton John - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1SsRgbFIaI

What is Elton John's real name?

18. VIDEO BREAK. 'Village Fete', Vicar Of Dibley - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7u_ews9woM

Who ended up opening the Village Fete?

ROUND 3. Food

19. Can turkeys fly?

Do all turkeys gobble?

20. How many turkeys are eaten in the US on Thanksgiving? Or, what percentage of Americans have a turkey dinner on Thanksgiving?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

List some other types of pie?

ROUND 4. TV & Film

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

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

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

30. 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