It certainly is the American version of a traditional feast day.
Look it it’s Christian origins:
President Abraham Lincoln responded in 1863 by setting aside the last Thursday of November as a national Day of Thanksgiving . . . Lincoln's original 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation (His speech which gives glory and thanksgiving to God) came - spiritually speaking - at a pivotal point in his life. During the first week of July of that year, the Battle of Gettysburg occurred, resulting in the loss of some 60,000 American lives. Four months later in November, Lincoln delivered his famous "Gettysburg Address." It was while Lincoln was walking among the thousands of graves there at Gettysburg that he committed his life to Christ. As he explained to a friend:
When I left Springfield [to assume the Presidency] I asked the people to pray for me. I was not a Christian. When I buried my son, the severest trial of my life, I was not a Christian. But when I went to Gettysburg and saw the graves of thousands of our soldiers, I then and there consecrated myself to Christ
I have a copy of that Thanksgiving Proclamation that Lincoln gave that I cut out of the newspaper one year.I display it on the table for whoever would like to read it. You can find it on the Internet as well. Thanksgiving Proclamation
To do: Besides the usual preparations for Thanksgiving, I try to keep the focus where it was intended:thanking God.We like to attend Mass on this day.We also try to invite someone to our Thanksgiving meal who might be alone on this day.And we always share our thanksgivings for the year individually around the table.(I often videotape this despite all the moans and complaints.)These thanksgiving ponderings are precious when the children grow older and the grandparents are no longer with us.
Many crafts can be done to decorate the table. Just start looking online and you will be inspired.
To pray: Besides the usual dinnertime blessing, it is nice to have someone compose a prayer mentioning many of the things your family is thankful for.If it is a child doing the composing, he can ask several family members for their contributions.