The Thanksgiving tradition started with Pilgrims feasting to celebrate their first harvest in the New World (that’s America), and even though the holiday remains quintessentially American (Do you know Canadians celebrate it too, but on a different day?), it’s easy to join in.
Thanksgiving – celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November – is considered one of the most wonderful holidays of the year. My girlfriend and I drove to Carbondale, Illinois. We spent more or less 10 days here, hanging out with friends and family.
Although this year was my first thanksgiving, I’m going to share with you 10 things I learnt and experienced myself in order to have a meaningful and fulfilling Thanksgiving. Hope you find them useful and interesting!
1. GATHER THE FAMILY
Thanksgiving doesn’t keep up with the tradition without family and friends. They are essential to celebrate the Day.
2. BE GRATEFUL
Thanksgiving is all about gratitude. My girlfriend’s family’s tradition is to go around the table and share one thing we’ve been thankful for in the past year. It can be anything you want, let your heart inspire you. It’s emotional and brings everyone together in a really nice way.
3. MAKE FOOD TOGETHER
It’s easier to buy a pre-made pumpkin pie, but making food from scratch helps you feel connected to the natural process that creates life — the exact feeling that help you feel closer to your family.
Everyone try their best to help by chopping veggies, stuffing, slicing the turkey, making pie or simple mixing ingredients.
4. MAKE A TOAST
Let’s not forget about alcohol on the table. Thanksgiving dinner is not complete without the drinks. Whether you’re indulging in a glass of red wine that perfectly compliments your meal, or frequenting the drinks table in order to hold a conversation with the cousin you haven’t seen in ten years, drinks are a central part of the Thanksgiving tradition.
I brought a red wine from Italy – Amarone della Valpolicella, a prestigious wine from the Valpolicella region in Veneto, Italy.
Expect bold aromas of cherry liqueur, black fig, carob, cinnamon and plum sauce along with subtle notes of green peppercorn, chocolate and crushed gravel dust. Sound intriguing?
Clink your glass often in praise of others. Toast the chefs and hosts.
5. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BIRD
When you get down to it, food is the centerpiece of this holiday. A turkey should be front and center at your feast – whether it’s roasted, grilled or fried. Keep in mind that cooking usually takes several hours, so be sure to get an early start. When the turkey’s in the oven, get started on all those sides…
6. THANKSGIVING PARADE
Television also plays a part in Thanksgiving celebrations. Many families watch the New York City Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade includes marching bands, floats, songs and performances from Broadway musicals, and giant helium-filled balloons! People may also enjoy televised football games.
7. THE OTHER STUFF IS IMPORTANT TOO
It’s not a Thanksgiving without cornbread stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and apple pie with a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream to top it all off. Pumpkin pie is an absolute must as well, and despite pumpkin being the main ingredient, the pie is in fact a sweet dessert!
Nina’s mum made such a good apple and pumpkin pie from scratch. I can still remember the taste now I’m writing about it 😋
8. SHARING FOOD ON THE TABLE
Try making each other’s plates instead of your own. See how well you can care for the needs of others. “I know that sweet potatoes are your favorite so I’m making sure you get extra” or “I know you don’t like gravy so that is not going on your plate.” Noticing what someone likes and then giving them that exact thing is one of the highest forms of love.
9. PUT ON THE CHRISTMAS MUSIC
Thanksgiving is the official start of the holiday season – that means picking out your favorite Christmas songs and start dancing!
10. TAKE A WALK IN NATURE
While waiting for the turkey to reach that perfect golden brown, grab a relative and head out for a walk. This can also be a great post-feast activity serving to burn off some of those second-slice-of-pie calories.
So I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving Holiday with your friends and family!
See you to the next post!