Full of Thanks

Every year, my entire family gets together at my sister’s house to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal, play card games, and watch some football.  The older I get, the more I treasure the time spent at home, and I am so excited to include some new Fair Trade items in this year’s festivities!

To me, it doesn’t matter if it is something big or small; each Fair Trade item that we integrate into our daily lives means that an artisan and their family have a chance at a better life.  This year, I am not only thankful for my health, family and friends, but also for the ability I have to help others!

If you are like me and are looking to make this year’s holiday season more Fair Trade friendly, check out some of the great items I have collected at Ten Thousand Villages that would be a perfect addition to any Thanksgiving table!


The highlight of Thanksgiving may be the food, but the center piece is definitely the table.  I fell in love with this handmade tablecloth from India; the intricate print and warm color create a splendid backdrop for the food and fellowship that Thanksgiving brings.


These place mats and coasters are made from recycled newspapers by the Women’s Multipurpose Cooperative in Baguio City, Philippines.  This artisan group is one of six organizations in the Philippines that Ten Thousand Villages works with to purchase artisan handicrafts.  This past Wednesday, Ten Thousand Villages stores nationwide donated a portion of their sales to Typhoon Haiyan relief.  If you are interested in learning more or would like to donate, please visit https://donate.mcc.org/project/typhoon-haiyan-response

Once the table is set, it’s time for the food!  How cute is this Terracotta Chicken Roaster?  This great item from Bangladesh isn’t just something to cluck about, you actually cook a chicken (or teeny turkey) in this fun little dish!


We all know that turkey isn’t the only thing served on Thanksgiving.  Everyone in my family brings a side dish to share, and there are old favorites and new additions every year.


This Lombok Chili Pot comes from Indonesia, and can seamlessly transition from oven to table filled with any of your favorite casseroles or sides.  The adventurous chefs in the family can also try this great stew recipe from Simply In Season, a cookbook that highlights the best foods of each season.

Autumn Tagine (tah-JHEEN); A Moroccan dish named after the traditional heavy clay pot it is prepared in.

Saute 2 cups diced onion and 2 Ts. of oil in a soup pot or Lombok Chili Pot until tender.

Add 6 cloves garlic, 1 t. ginger root, 2 t. ground cumin, 1 t. paprika, 1/2 t. salt, 1 1/2 t. pepper, 1 1/4 t. crushed hot chilies, cook for 1 minute.

Add 3 cups diced sweet potatoes, 2 cups cooked chickpeas, and 1 1/2 c. of vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Stir in 1/2 medium head of cauliflower (diced) and simmer for 12 minutes.  Add 2 c. peas, cover, and simmer until hot, about 2 minutes.

Serve with rice or couscous, and garnish with cilantro.



The smell of a delightful meal fills the room, and the Thanksgiving table is ready and welcoming.  It is at this point where my most favorite part of the holiday begins.  To me, the most important part of Thanksgiving is spending precious time with the family and friends that bless my life the whole year round.

All of us at Ten Thousand Villages wish you a joyous and blessed holiday season.  From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!