First Lady Michelle Obama, in an e-mail message, said she would be handing out turkeys, stuffing, pumpkin pies and all the Thanksgiving fixings with friends and family at Martha's Table, a local non-profit organization on the Thanksgiving Day.

The First Lady has also urged all Americans to get involved in serving their communities and be thankful to men and women in uniform and their families on the day.

This Thanksgiving, I encourage all Americans to find a way to give back -- and maybe even start a family tradition of your own. Whether you volunteer at a local soup kitchen, visit the elderly at a nursing home or reach out to a neighbor or friend who comes from a military family, there are plenty of ways to get involved in your community, Michelle Obama said in her message.

She added: It's also an important time to be thankful for our men and women in uniform and their families who risk everything so that we can be safe and free. And we must also remember those in our community who are in need of our help and support -- especially during these tough economic times.

Michelle Obama didn't attend the Rose Garden ceremony on Wednesday, when President Obama, along with daughters Malia and Sasha, pardoned the 2010 National Turkey, Apple, and his alternate, Cider.

Thanksgiving Day is a harvest festival celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada. Traditionally, it has been a time to give thanks for a bountiful harvest. While it may have been religious in origin, Thanksgiving is now primarily identified as a secular holiday. It is sometimes casually referred to as Turkey Day.

It is traditional for families and groups of friends to get together for a large meal, which often includes a turkey, stuffing, different types of potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy and maize and other seasonal vegetables. The meal also often includes pumpkin pie, a traditional North American sweet dessert eaten during the fall and early winter, especially for Thanksgiving and Christmas.