Blog :: 11-2020

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Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

The iconic holiday parade will be virtual this year. While Thanksgiving will look a lot different this year because of coronavirus, you can still look forward to watching a modified version of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with the whole family.

 

Earlier this month, Macy's announced that its iconic parade will be produced as a television-only experience this Turkey Day. So, for the first time ever, it'll shift from a live parade to a pre-recorded event. Macy's teamed up with City of New York to modify the parade. All the details haven't been released yet, but here's everything we know about the 94th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade so far:

When is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade airs on Thanksgiving Day in the United States. This year, the holiday falls on Thursday, November 26. The long-standing tradition started in 1924 when the infamous parade first debuted and it was later televised for the first time in 1946.

What time does the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade start?

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will begin at 9 a.m. and end at 12 p.m. in all time zones. Typically, during the three-hour event, bands from across the country, Broadway performers, and musical guests make their way through the 2.5-mile route on Macy’s signature floats—starting at 77th Street and Central Park West before heading south to Herald Square at 34th Street. This year, however, the event will be held and taped around the Herald Square area. Viewers can still expect to see giant character balloons, floats, street performers, and Santa Claus, but the overall number of participants will be reduced by 75 percent. 

How can I watch and live stream the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?

The Macy's Thanksgiving parade will air nationwide on NBC-TV. Last year, the parade was also available to live stream. So if it follows tradition, you'll be able to stream it through the NBC app—available on iOS and Android.

Looking Back At Incredible Vintage Balloons From The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Waking up on Thanksgiving and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is such a lovely tradition for American families.

In 1924, the parade was moved from New Jersey to New York City by Macy’s. Every year after that initial march down to the Herald Square flagship store in midtown Manhattan, the parade has grown and grown into such a fun celebration that marks the beginning of each holiday season.

Folks dress up in colorful costumes, and marching bands play happy songs. But the part of the parade that is most anticipated is the balloons that float above the street. 

Throughout the years there have been so many iconic characters to take balloon form, but the 17 below are some of the earliest and most memorable balloons.

Do you remember seeing any of these balloons float through the parade when they first appeared? What is your favorite character to look out for on Thanksgiving Day?

1. Felix The Cat, 1927

Felix was the first balloon ever in the parade.

2. Happy Dragon, 1927

The second ballon to float through the parade was pretty adorable, don’t you think?

3. Mickey Mouse, 1934

Walt Disney himself helped design the first Mickey balloon ever.

4. Eddie Cantor, 1934

This was the first balloon ever to be modeled after a real person.

5. Happy Hippo, 1940s

This sweet guy must have been a hoot to see floating through the air.

6. Uncle Sam, 1940s

You have to show some patriotism when you hold a parade in the heart of New York City!

7. Santa, 1940

Santa helped get everyone in the Christmas spirit.

8. Pilgrim, 1946

It is the Thanksgiving Day Parade, after all.

9. Macy's Elf, 1947

This happy guy surely brought tons of smiles to paradegoers.

10. Harold The Fireman, 1948

Harold became a recurring character in the parade in many forms, but this was his first ever appearance.

11. Harold The Baseball Player, 1949

Here he is again the next year as a baseball player.

12. Bullwinkle, 1961

Everyone’s favorite cartoon moose made an appearance.

13. Donald Duck, 1962

Who doesn’t love Donald Duck?

14. Underdog, 1965

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Here comes the hero dog to save the day!

15. Superman, 1966

The Man of Steel himself even showed up!

16. Flying Ace Snoopy, 1968

This was the first of seven Snoopy balloons to grace the parade.

17. Kermit The Frog, 1977

The most lovable Muppet as a giant floating balloon? What’s not to like?

All images courtesy Macy’s, Inc.

9 Thanksgiving Traditions That Many People Have Forgotten About Today

Now that Halloween is behind us, it's time to look forward to the upcoming festive holidays. Thanksgiving is just around the corner, two weeks from today in fact. It may look a bit different this year due to the Coronavirus but it's still the same old Thanksgiving holiday or is it?

by Jess Catcher, Writer for Little Things

Every year, families gather together to enjoy a huge feast of savory dishes and sweet treats to celebrate Thanksgiving. However, over time, the traditional holiday has begun to look much different than it did back in the day. I don’t mean the original meal between the Pilgrims and Native Americans in 1621, but the classic customs from our parents and grandparents that somehow stopped being passed down somewhere along the way. Thinking back on my own childhood turkey days spent at my grandma’s house, I can’t help but feel like it’s a darn shame that so many of the simple things listed below just aren’t done as often anymore. After all, the shindig is about so much more than just what’s on your plate — it’s about acknowledging the blessings we’ve received over the months since we last gathered around the table together.

1. Retelling The Original Thanksgiving Story

We learn the basics in school, but families used to enjoy brushing up on all the fun facts about our ancestors’ first time sitting together at the table for their big fall harvest meal. Sharing Thanksgiving trivia with the rest of the brood was almost like a fun game!

For example, did you know they didn’t even have turkey on the menu that day? Instead, they dined on items like venison, duck, and even fresh oysters.

2. Adding A Festive Centerpiece To The Table

I can’t remember the last time I saw a beautiful centerpiece that wasn’t at a wedding reception, but you’d always see one on the Thanksgiving table way back when. You can have a blast crafting your own with your kids and grandkids chipping in!

3. Breaking Out The Good China

I’ll admit it: My family always uses paper plates for our feast in order to cut back on the dishes stacking up in the sink, but everyone used to reach for the fancy dinnerware, maybe even dressing up for the occasion with a nice tie or dress.

4. Using Quaint Place Cards

Even if it’s just a small gathering, this personal touch used to go a long way with helping guests feel extra special at the annual meal.

5. Playing Your Own Football Game

Instead of watching the same players face off on TV, families would spend the time waiting for their turkey by heading outside and working up an appetite with some friendly competition.

6. Splitting The Wishbone

Sure, it’s a silly superstition, but that’s what makes it so fun! As you can see in the retro snapshot above, it was especially delightful to the youngsters getting their first chance to make a wish.

7. Sharing What You're Thankful For

I know we’re all anxious to chow down on the delicious food, but don’t you remember when we all used to take a moment to look back on what we’re most grateful for since the previous Thanksgiving? I think this small gesture may have even made the food taste a little better.

8. Walking Off The Feast

Tons of us today are more tempted to slump down in a comfy chair and snooze for a bit. But not too long ago, families would spend more quality time together taking a walk and enjoying the fresh air while aiding their digestion.

9. Staying All Night (In Spite Of Sales)

In recent years, Black Friday has creeped into Turkey Day’s territory, not only forcing employees to leave their own meals early, but inspiring deal-seeking shoppers to ditch the dinner table before dessert is even served.

Enjoy Your Thanksgiving Everyone!

Enjoy Your Pumpkins Beyond Halloween

Pumpkins play an integral part of celebrating fall holidays. Artfully carved jack-o’-lanterns decorate our doorsteps, while whole pumpkins add a festive air to tabletops and other spots around our homes. Once Halloween has passed and Thanksgiving gives way to winter holidays, pumpkins often end up in the trash. But, instead of throwing them out, consider a number of ways you can reuse them. Here's how to give new life — even if only for a little while — to carved and whole pumpkins both indoors and outside.

By Noelle Johnson, Houzz Contributor, Horticulturist, freelance writer and Certified Arborist 

Carved jack-o’-lanterns as well as whole pumpkins can be used out in the garden and around the house once Halloween is over.

 

1. Decorate Outdoor Containers

Add distinctive seasonal flair to your containers by adding whole, uncarved pumpkins. Their vibrant skin will enliven outdoor spaces with color, whether used by themselves or nestled within flowering annuals and perennials.

 

2. Make a Bird Feeder

Cut your pumpkin in half, and fill with birdseed. Add some twigs for the birds to perch on and you’ll soon have feathered friends flocking for a snack. If there are still pumpkin seeds left, the birds will enjoy them too.

Smaller pumpkins also can be used as bird feeders. Clean out their insides, making a hole for the birds on the side. Fill the pumpkin with birdseed, and hang it from a nearby tree where you can observe.

 

3. Turn It Into a Planter

Create a natural container using your pumpkin. Be sure to remove any seeds and stringy bits, fill with potting soil and add a favorite succulent or flowering plant. Use your planter to decorate a tabletop or porch for a few days before planting the pumpkin in the ground — along with the plant inside — where the pumpkin will naturally disintegrate, enriching the soil.

 

4. Display in the Garden

Pumpkins’ distinct color and shape add a decorative autumn element to the landscape — especially when used in high-profile areas near a driveway or front entry. These should naturally disintegrate into the soil, if you want them to, but it’s best if they are best placed in an out-of-the-way spot for this. You could always dig a shallow hole to rest the pumpkin in.

 

5. Add To the Compost Pile

Not surprisingly, pumpkins are a great source of nutrients for compost. Cut up pumpkins into smaller sections to allow them to break down more quickly. Come spring, the pumpkin compost will add new life to your garden.

 

6. Feed the Deer

Those who grow pumpkins know that deer love to eat pumpkins. Provide them with a special fall treat by cutting your pumpkin into smaller pieces and scattering in an area, away from your garden, where they will enjoy eating them. Other furry visitors will also enjoy snacking on any leftovers.

 

 

7. Transform Into Candle Holders

All you need is a mini pumpkin and a tea light candle. Make a hole at the top of the pumpkin, slightly larger than the candle, and clean out the insides. The hole should be just deep enough for the candle to reach the top of the pumpkin. Insert the candle into the pumpkin, and light for festive decoration or a dinner for two.

  

8. Use as Serving Dishes

The shape of pumpkins make them a fun choice for a unique serving dish for the fall table. Smaller pumpkins make a good vessel for dips. 

9. Make Puree

Finally, no list of what to do with pumpkins is complete without talking about using them for delicious desserts like pumpkin pie and bread. Although pureed pumpkin is available in a can, it is easy to make your own, which you can use right away or freeze for later use.Don’t have a compost bin? Simply cut up your pumpkin and bury it where nearby plants will enjoy the phosphorus and other nutrients it will add to the soil.

 

5 Ways to Put Fall Leaves to Work for You!

After the leaves fall, it's time to rake them up or collect them with a lawnmower attachment then dispose of them, right? No! Instead of removing them entirely from your lawn, use these tips on how they can actually benefit your lawn and your flower beds too. The money homeowners will spend next Spring on lawn and garden fertilizers, mulch and bagged compost... they might have saved if they’d simply used those leaves now.

 

Why Are Leaves Valuable to the Gardener? 

It’s simple. When incorporated into soil, fall leaves:

  • Add nutrients, including phosphorous and potassium

  • Increase the soil’s microbial life 

  • Boost its water-holding capacity 

  • Improve its structure, known as tilth 

Not to mention that leaves are free! It takes little effort on your part to get them working for you. Here are five ways to use them:

1. Mow Them Into the Lawn

Together, shredded leaves and grass clippings add carbon (leaves) and nitrogen (grass) to the soil, reducing your need to add store-bought fertilizers later.

Here’s how: Use a mulching mower. If there’s a bag, take it off and mow with the discharge chute facing toward the lawn, so the clippings blow on the grass instead of on the street or driveway. Set the mower height at about 3 inches. Make another pass if the leaves are still in big pieces. The shredded leaves should sit no more than ¾ inch deep on the grass. Over the winter they will break down into the soil and be gone by spring.

2. Add Them to Vegetable Beds

You can incorporate whole or chopped leaves into any cleared-out vegetable beds. They will mostly decompose over the winter, then in spring you can mix in whatever is left. If you don’t want to see leftover leaves in your beds, shred them first. 

Don’t have a shredder? A garbage can and a string trimmer will work. Use a 55-gallon garbage can. Fill it three-quarters of the way with leaves. Put the string trimmer in, turn it on and move it through the layers of leaves. Be sure to wear eye and ear protection.

3. Make Leaf Mold

Leaf mold is simply wet leaves that have decomposed into a rich, black, soil-like substance that makes a perfect mulch for plants. Pile the leaves in a spot where they’re out of the way and won’t blow away. Or make large (3- or 4-foot) circles of chicken wire, 3 feet high, and pile the leaves in them. Wet the leaves as you go so they’ll rot. Turning the pile a few times during the winter will accelerate the process.

4. Mix Leaves — Shredded or Not — Into a Compost Pile Now, Where They’ll Break Down Over Winter

Even better: Stockpile dried leaves, in garbage bags or piled in that out-of-the-way place, for summer. In warm weather there’s an abundance of succulent green material (nitrogen) for your compost pile. But to keep the composting process aerobically working, and not rotting, it needs lots of “browns” (carbon), in the form of dried material. 

5. Protect Outdoor Potted Plants

When the weather turns cold and potted plants (the hardy ones, not houseplants or tropicals, which must be brought indoors) go dormant, pick a sheltered place on the north, west or east side of your house. Cluster the pots together against the house, ideally beneath an overhang. Pile dried leaves over, under and between the entire grouping of pots.

If the area is windy, corral the pots with chicken wire so the leaves won’t blow away. Pile the leaves inches deep, covering the pot and as much of the plant as possible. Under this insulating blanket, both plants and pots should come through the winter just fine. With this method, even terra-cotta pots can stay outdoors, as long as water can’t get into them and freeze.