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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

More Thanksgiving Please

            Thanksgiving is tomorrow and my wife has already launched into the Christmas movie season with the Hallmark channel. Now, I’m more of a one holiday at a time sort of person. I like waiting until I’ve consumed the guest of honor at our Thanksgiving festivity before feasting my eyes on the winter wonder event.

            My quickly maturing daughter asked where all the Thanksgiving movies were. Good question. I stumbled with an answer and admitted that beyond the Charlie Brown special, I couldn’t think of any off the top of my head. Of course, that is probably more a reflection of my failing memory than it is of an actual dearth of turkey themed entertainment.

            With my curiosity sufficiently peaked, I checked the greatest answer machine available. I Googled it.  In addition to the Peanuts gang I found the following films with a reasonable amount of Thanksgiving spirit to them:

1.      A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

2.      Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

3.      Winnie the Pooh – Season of Giving

4.      Mouse on the Mayflower

5.      Hannah and Her Sisters

6.      Home For the Holidays

7.      Alice’s Restaurant

8.      What’s Cooking


More movies exist that have some mention of Thanksgiving, but I felt they were

much leaner fare than this grand holiday deserves. It is shocking that an event as wondrous as this should have so little entertainment attached to it. We can remedy that situation. We authors that is.

            Here is a list of writing prompts for Thanksgiving. I encourage all of you to put some thought into creating the definitive Thanksgiving classic. Many images flickered to life in my head when I went through the list. See what it does for you.

  • How will they celebrate Thanksgiving in the future?
  • What would Thanksgiving be like if children made all the preparations?
  • How would our pets celebrate Thanksgiving?
  • What would Thanksgiving be like if you had to dress to match your food?
  • How would Thanksgiving celebrations be different if it were held in summer?
  • What would it be like if retailers held Thanksgiving in their stores in order to boost Black Friday sales?
  • Imagine a non-traditional Thanksgiving.
  • Imagine a Thanksgiving where all the food had been stolen the night before.
  • What would happen if your family tried to re-enact the first Thanksgiving?
  • How would your Thanksgiving traditions differ if they were going to be televised to the hungry and poor nations of the Earth?
  • What if Thanksgiving had been started by hippies instead of Pilgrims?
  • Who would you invite to Thanksgiving dinner if you had an operation time machine? And what would you talk about?
  • What would happen if the situation was reversed and turkeys celebrated Thanksgiving with us?
  • What would Thanksgiving be like if we celebrated it on an alien world?
  • What fictional character would you like to invite to your Thanksgiving event? And how might that change the celebration?
  • What if you celebrated Thanksgiving with a theme based on your favorite song, or band? How would you accomplish that?
  • What if you combined Thanksgiving with some of the other holiday traditions?
  • Everyone knows the story of the first Thanksgiving. What about the LAST Thanksgiving?
  • What is your favorite Thanksgiving memory?

Ready! Set! Gobble . . . I mean,  Write!


  1. Randy, this is wonderful. I couldn't think of other Thanksgiving movies either, so I'm glad you listed some! :) I usually get excited for Christmas, but I like to wait until after Thanksgiving too, although I must admit, I thought about busting out the Grinch, to help entertain the kids today! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. :)

  2. No celebrations on this side of the pond, but I hope you all have a good one :-)

  3. These are really great ideas for a story. Even though I'm British they're tempting me to write the great American Thanksgiving story.

    Have a great holiday.

  4. What a great list! And you're so right - Thanksgiving is under=represented in film! I also realized that, while I'm sure they're out there, I didn't know any really good Thanksgiving picture books. I asked about it on FB and got a few recommendations, but it's definitely something to look into :)

  5. Good call.
    And Susanna, you're right. There just aren't enough.

  6. These are all terrific ideas! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family! Julie