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Thanksgiving - A unique celebration or commercialisation?


Antonia here! At KidooLand we are embracing diversity and experiencing many of the wonderful celebrations that we celebrate globally. Today we turn our attention to the USA and their tradition of Thanksgiving. Many of us grew up seeing Thanksgiving in the Hollywood movies and so we could be forgiven for thinking it is just a commercial gimmick, a way to sell more but actually it's one of my personal favourites of the year.

It's history goes back to 1621 with the Pilgrims who left the UK for the USA and had lots of challenges. This celebration was a uniting between the native Indians and the Pilgrims to give thanks, be thankful and celebrate around a great meal.

Personally, I think that, unlike Christmas which has these days become over the top commercial and has lost its meaning and message, Thanksgiving remains one of the celebrations of this modern new world that is exactly what the doctor ordered.

My grand mother "Gran'ma" was in fact American, born to an Irish family living in Boston. After spending her first couple of years in the USA, she then traveled on a boat age 4 years old all the way to family in Ireland . Sadly she lost both her parents while very young and was raised by an Aunt but I always felt she was proud of her American passport and where it all began.

Later she moved to the UK where she trained as a nurse and during World War II she made some American friends who she used to often tell me about many years later, I feel like she was making her own connections back to where here parents were .

It was actually in hospital where she met my grandfather who was her patient and the rest as they say is history.

What is fun about technology is that all this time later we have been able to find out so much more about her early days in America even getting photos of the boat she left the US on.

I was incredibly lucky to be invited to Boston a couple of years ago and took my own mum and kids to see the very house she grew up in. It was an incredible moment in our lives to have that connection to where it all began and to meet our extended American family.

Gran'ma was the wise owl of the family , the person we all went to for advice and answers. I would call her for help on my history homework, she was like an encyclopedia of knowledge.

She was also great fun to be with and in fact when I was 18 years old and going on my first foreign holiday with my friends - we took her with us!

Despite hardship and immense sadness so young, she came through life with a smile, a laugh and making us all understand how important family and connection is.

Her rich life tapestry has allowed me to get to know life in England, feel at home in Ireland and have strong connections to America.

Although I wasn't raised celebrating this Thanksgiving tradition, as a mum, I felt a much deeper connection to my Irish, American roots and made a concious decision to include a day of Thanks in my own family calendar.

So today on Thanksgiving we celebrate all that Gran'ma taught us about positivity, love and family. Slainté.

When is it?

The third Thursday of November. In 2020 this will be Thursday 26th November.

I reinstated a Thanksgiving tradition in my own little family to ensure that we celebrate our American roots and also take a moment to reconnect in this busy world. Sometimes we've done this with the wider family from grandparents down to grandchildren and sometimes it's just my little family.

What to eat?

Well there are no rules in the Beauvoisin-Brown house .. traditionally it's Turkey, mashed potato and cranberry sauce but we have a couple of vegetarians so we do nut roasts and other delicious alternatives. We like to make an occasion of it with a nicely laid table but keep it low key and laid back too.

What to do ?

Unlike Christmas in the majority of households that celebrate Thanksgiving no gifts are exchanged . This is one of the reasons I truly believe it isn't a commercial event. The gift is more giving thanks from the heart.

After we are all settled we like to take a moment to have a chat with one another and really give thanks to each and every person present (or even those that couldn't make it) and remind each other of the happy moments we are thankful for. It is such a beautiful thing today and this year more than ever is perhaps one we should all take time to do.

2020 was so hard how can we be thankful?

It's true as I personally know both on the professional and personal side that this year has been the most heartbreaking and challenging of my life. I am naturally an optimist but even this year has had me beat in moments but it is precisely that that I have had to grab onto that this will pass, to be thankful that we have go to this point, that the sun still shines, that I managed to grow some tomatoes and for the first time this year a sweetcorn.

Thankful that though it was enforced, I had some really quality time with my little family where we got to know each other again, play board games, redecorate rooms and that in what had been a really busy crowded life I was given the gift of time to really look at what was important and what wasn't.

Grateful too to all the clients who did support us in the hardest of times by joining us on zoom, sending wonderful messages of support and continuing to register with our services and finally grateful to my team who have been aboard the KidooLand ship in the most turbulent of storms

Take a look at KidooLand's 'Happy Thanksgiving' video opposite to see everything we are thankful for this year.

Many small businesses, like KidooLand are offering gift vouchers to customers this year, which can be purchased online now and redeemed in 2021. This is a wonderful way of supporting small businesses who continue to be affected by the difficult economic conditions that we all have experienced this year.

After having received such enquiries from a number of our clients, KidooLand has created a range of gift vouchers that are available for sale from today: 50€, 100€, 150€, 200€ or 345€.

These gift vouchers are not nominative and can be offered as a gift or bought by families now ready for the Stages Vacances in 2021!


Until 15/12/2020, use the promocode KIDOOTHANKS to save 5€, 10€ or even 20€ off the face value of one of our gift vouchers:

100€: at a price of 95€ with the promocode KIDOOTHANKS => saving 5€

150€: at a price of 145€ with the promocode KIDOOTHANKS => saving 5€

200€: at price of 190€ with the promocode KIDOOTHANKS => saving 10€

345€: at price of 325€ with the promocode KIDOOTHANKS => saving 20€

All gift vouchers are valid until 31/07/2021 and must be redeemed against Stages Vacances places in February, April or July 2021. Gift vouchers are non-refundable, cannot be exchanged for cash (in full or part) and are valid for a single transaction only.

Offer a Gift Voucher to a family member or purchase your gift voucher now ready for the Stages Vacances in 2021!

Pour en acheter, contactez Mériem Gallah directement:

Resources for you and your family - What is Thanksgiving.

Different videos to explain it to children of different ages HERE

Quarantine thanksgiving ideas HERE

Vegetarian ideas for Thanksgiving HERE

So have I convinced you ? Does the idea of giving thanks seem like a positive event and not a commercial one ?

I would love to hear if you enjoy Thanksgiving or other traditions and celebrations in your household. I truly believe that right now positivity is what the world needs and being grateful for what we do have, hover small is a great starting point.

Enjoy :-)

xx Antonia


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