By Doug Bardwell, American Red Cross volunteer
November 20, 2019- Thanksgiving is one of the oldest traditions in our country, begun in the 16th century. While the Pilgrims usually get credit for the holiday, it wasn’t until 1941 that President Roosevelt signed into law a resolution that it always be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.
To fully appreciate Thanksgiving, there are many essentials that have become synonymous with this holiday:
- Foods of the season – Turkey is traditional; but I know many who cheat and enjoy ham instead. Just don’t forget the sweet potatoes and cranberry.
- Charity – Food collections for those in need and/or delivered dinners ensure that everyone shares in the bounties we enjoy here in Northeast Ohio.
- Giving thanks – No matter what religion your family shares, it’s a perfect time to give thanks to the Almighty for our freedom to worship and live however we like.
- Parades – Perfect to keep the kids busy while the cook starts prepping the dinner. (Unfortunately, the closest one is in Detroit. How about watching the Macy’s parade on TV?)
- Football – Every year (since 1978) we get to watch the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys – whether we want to or not.
- Visiting relatives – This four-day weekend is usually one of the busiest travel periods of the year.
And to safely enjoy the holiday, the American Red Cross has come up with 20 tips to make sure your travel and your culinary exploits are enjoyed safely. This 40-second video hits the essentials for cooks.
As a disaster responder, I know firsthand there is nothing worse than to go out and visit someone who’s lost their home during the holidays. Take a moment, review the tips and set your family up for a joyous holiday.
Every eight minutes, donations to the Red Cross help someone affected by a disaster—most often, home fires. You can help save lives by to support our mission, signing up to or taking steps to protect your own family from home fires. Visit to learn more.
All photos by Doug Bardwell
Edited By Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer