Family Thanksgiving Ideas

If you're hosting your family at your house this year instead of venturing out to a restaurant, you want a Thanksgiving get together filled with good food and happy faces. To plan and execute a celebration that combines the best of togetherness, traditional recipes and favorite entertainment while still leaving time for a post-meal nap, take advantage of the performance and convenience of your home's technology, from the kitchen to the living room.

On the Menu

Modern cooking technology helps traditional Thanksgiving fare excel at the dinner table. Thanks to the fan-forced air that powers convection's exceptional cooking results, a range with a convection oven can produce a roasted turkey with a crispy exterior that seals in juicy meat. The same technology helps your pies, breads and other baked goods develop beautiful crusts and fine textures.

Whether you use a French door, side-by-side or bottom-freezer refrigerator, its flexible door and drawer storage helps keep everything in its place—and its spacious interior provides an ideal environment to defrost your turkey safely. If you plan a menu with make-ahead recipes as well as foods that require same-day preparation, you can limit the frazzled feeling that keeps the cook from feeling like part of the celebration.

Big Game

The turkey's not the only big item on the Thanksgiving agenda. Parade watchers ooh and aah over floats and marching bands. Diehard football fans want to hit the couch and camp out in front of the TV to watch the big game. If you've been considering adding a big HDTV to your living room and putting the smaller set it replaces in your bedroom, Thanksgiving gives you a great excuse to make the investment.

HDTVs can become the viewing centerpiece of a system that integrates home theater equipment, audio playback from computers, tablet devices and wireless access to Internet-based entertainment. Size your TV to the dimensions of your room and the distance between the set and your seating arrangement, providing the best match between picture dimensions and room layout.

Decor Notes

Combine old-fashioned crafts with new-generation digital capabilities to decorate your home for the Thanksgiving holiday. Use your digital camera to produce a series of family pictures and combine them with images you've received through email from other branches of your family. Display the gallery on your HDTV through a wireless connection to your computer, tablet device or smartphone.

On a lower-tech note, roll out a simple banner on a wall, placing it at reachable height for everyone in the family. Ask each person to write a message of thanks or a thought for the future, sign it and write the date. Post the banner each year as part of your celebration, adding to it and reminiscing about past annotations.

Family Lore

When you gather your family together, you provide an ideal opportunity to share and chronicle some of its history, memories and stories. Bring out your camcorder and capture tales you'll regret losing the chance to record. Along with family photos and genealogical data, your Thanksgiving videos can become the basis not only for an archive of your traditions and narratives, but for an annual tradition that takes its place alongside the turkey, pie and togetherness.

Photo Credits: Samsung

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