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Thanksgathering 

Thanksgiving is chaos for my family. But it's a good chaos: I'm one of seven kids, and we all congregate at my dad's for dinner. Brothers, sisters, in-laws, kids and grandkids cram into a small space for a big meal. Every year, we run short on chairs and resort to mismatched plates to serve ourselves buffet-style because table space is limited.

Between the setup of folding tables and the sinks full of dishes waiting to be hand-washed, the only lull is a pause for grace. I miss my mom, who died a few years ago. But in the crazy white noise generated by family and food, it's possible to imagine she's still at the table.

Thanksgiving is a holiday that involves lots of eating, but it's also about gathering to share a meal. That tradition — and how every family interprets it — is the topic of this month's "Use Your Words" by Cathy Resmer.

Food is on everyone's mind this month: Dr. Lewis First talks about healthy nutrition for kids, and local dads compare strategies to get picky eaters to turn over a new green leaf. This month, find a roundup of great family-friendly cookbooks. Even this month's featured craft is edible.

When you've gotten your fill of food and family, turn to the holiday gift guide. The goal is to support local retailers, whether you're looking for a spade sled, a flip kite or a Bilibo.

However your holiday goes — quiet or chaos, football or shopping — be sure to find a moment in the hubbub to be thankful for all of it.

—Kate Laddison, managing editor

kate@kidsvt.com

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