What is Thanksgiving?
Since I moved to the UK, I get asked this question a lot. Some people have absolutely no idea what us Americans even do on Thanksgiving, and some asked if it replaced Christmas. As I really had no choice but to laugh at the last one, it did make me think a bit more about how to even describe Thanksgiving to someone who has never experienced it before.
Yes, most people know the story about the Pilgrims and the Native Americans. And as that is how the meal originated, I do believe it’s come a long way now. It takes on a different meaning, and I think everyone may have their own version as everyone has different traditions and different ways of celebrating.
For me and my family, it has always been about getting the extended family together, having a lot of drinks, eating amazing food, and many many laughs. We have some appetizers and snacks during the day, and then the turkey feast for dinner. There’s stuffing, mashed potatoes, rolls, cranberries, green bean casserole, maybe some vegetables, and corn souffle. Then an hour or two later, we get the dessert out. Now the desserts change from year to year, but no doubt, there will ALWAYS be pumpkin pie, as there should be. Then we all sit down and watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation together. Meanwhile, there is a constant stream of alcohol around us at all times. That part never stops.
I love Thanksgiving. It’s always been a happy holiday for me. And we’d get the Thursday and Friday paid vacation at work. It’s a nice long weekend right before all the crazy Christmas chaos happens. My boyfriend experienced his first Thanksgiving this year and he really enjoyed it. And to be quite frank, there’s literally no way you couldn’t enjoy it with my mom’s cooking. She spends weeks planning Thanksgiving dinner. Not only does she have to buy all the food and ingredients at the right time so nothing goes bad, but she also has to plan on when to prep, when to cook, what pans or bowls to put things in, what serving spoons to use, the different glasses, all of the alcohol, the hors d’oeuvres, the seating chart, and even decorates the house with everything Christmas beforehand. She’s insane. But I’m so happy she does it because it is always the best. Ain’t nothing like a home-cooked meal from your momma!
The Thanksgiving trip was everything D and I needed. We hadn’t had a proper break since April when I came to visit the UK for 10 days. Since then, it had been about me moving over here and us getting settled in our new flat and my new job. We desperately needed to get away and have some down time. And boy did my parents do a fantastic job. We had a giant TV in our room, the whole house was decked out and so cozy. We got lots of puppy love, from two different doggies. There was so much alcohol and food at all times. It was the best.
I plan on making it back to the States for Thanksgiving every year that I can as it’s always going to be one of my favourite holidays. And now it means even more because it’s when I get to see my family.
How did everyone else celebrate Thanksgiving this year?