With December quickly approaching, it is easy to forget it's November neighbor. I am here to say: put down that peppermint mocha and take the Santa hat off; Thanksgiving is here! So sit back, put on your favorite sweater, and raise a glass to the best holiday of the year! Cheers to November 23rd!
1. Friendship/ Friendsgiving
This is the one holiday you can actually show just how much you love all of your friends...and you don't have to buy them a gift to do it. Simply telling your friends why you love them makes Thanksgiving magical. Plus, the trend of Friendsgiving combines the two best things in the world: friends and food. Whether you the Ross or the Rachel of the group, I highly recommend setting up a Friendsgiving as soon as possible to get in the thanking mood!
2. The Thanksgiving Day Parade
Ever since I can remember, I would wake up early to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. Even as I get older, there's still a charm to it. There's something about the balloons, Broadway performances, and even the clearly lip-synced pop stars performing next to eight-year-olds dressed like cupcakes that put you in the holiday spirit. Yes, I still tear up when I see Santa close out the parade at age 23. Yes, I know this is embarrassing.
Every other day of the year, I am strictly a cake over pie fan (I know I know, blasphemy right?). But on Thanksgiving, not only is pie the best option, it's the only correct option to serve after dinner. I will gladly take a slice of pecan pie or pumpkin with a mountain of whipped cream to accompany. Tomorow, I return back to the land of cake but today I take one for the team.
4. Food in General
You didn't think I would just stop at the pie, did you? When was the last time you can recall eating giant piles of turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and stuffing on any regular Tuesday night? It's called the Thanksgiving feast for a reason! Diets and resolutions be damned, this day is for indulgences!
That amazing feeling of being able to share everything you love about your friends also applies to your family! There's honestly nothing more satisfying than talking about everything you love about your family and hearing good things about yourself in return. Thanksgiving is all about showing everyone how you feel and why you love them!
6. Cute Sweaters
There is no better time to show off that new cute sweater you bought just for fall than at the Thanksgiving dinner table. Sweaters are the official clothing item of fall, making them a staple at any great dinner!
7. The Weather
For the most part, Thanksgiving always ends up being the perfect fall day. Yes, I know sometimes you get stuck on a rainy day. But even if it's raining, you can still enjoy the beauty of the fall leaves around you which always seem to be at their peak the week of!
8. The National Dog Show
Even if you consider yourself more of a cat person, there's something amazing about the National Dog Show. Seeing just how many crazy and unique dogs there are out there is super fun. I love assigning everyone in my family a dog I think looks or acts like them. My family thinks I look like the dog that resembles a mop...I'm not even mad about it.
9. Mental Health Break
In the midst of exams, signing up for class, tests, and projects, life can feel a little more stressful than normal. Luckily, Thanksgiving break is the perfect time to go home to your friends and loved ones and just take a mental break. Sure, you'll have stuff that's due when you're back at school, but even giving yourself one day to mentally rest can make all the difference in the rest of your semester.
Whether your family plays a game of catch outside every Thanksgiving or uses the good china and crystal to eat on, every family has some sort of tradition they carry on every year. Besides watching the parade and dog show, my family always sits down to watch the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special every year. Even if you have seen something a million times, it still feels nice to have something you do every single year. I also made it a tradition to learn how to make cranberry sauce from scratch because I hated looking at the can-shaped jelly on the table!
Before I start, I want to say I in no way approve of going out shopping on Thanksgiving instead of Black Friday. Honestly, I think it's terrible for both the consumer (go spend time with your family) and the employees (seriously go spend time with your family). But some Black Friday deals are really really really hard to pass up. I personally don't like standing in lines, freezing my butt off, and getting pushed, shoved, and trampled over discounts so I prefer Cyber Monday where I can do all my shopping online and with a glass of wine in my pajamas.
12. Leftover Creations
I once made the grave mistake of calling my signature mashed potato and stuffing hybrid patty "lightly pan-fried" to a friend on a phone call which my brother overheard. Well, he snatched the phone away and told my friend that my "lightly pan-fried" creation was really just squished on a George Foreman Grill (what can I say, I watched a lot of Food Network). Long story short, my family still makes fun of my lightly pan-fried cringe-fest and I learned that mixing two starches and putting them on top of your turkey will elevate that leftover sandwich to the next level.
13. Everyone Helps Out
The term "divide and conquer" really applies the best to Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone seems to have a part they play in making it a special day. My mom and I cook, she cooks half the food and I cook the other. My dad and brother clean the dishes and pack the leftovers. My grandparents just like to sit and watch tv and that's okay! When every person does their part, it ends up being a pretty stress-free day.
14. Eating Dinner Super Early
This sounds silly, but if you eat Thanksgiving dinner super early, you will end up getting hungry around normal dinner time. Meaning you get to enjoy all of those sweet leftovers before the day is up. Two amazing meals in one day? Sign me up!
15. Post- Feast Nap
With your belly full of turkey, a glass of wine or two, pants buckles undone, and your brain full of tryptophan, it's pretty hard not to want to lay down and enjoy a post-dinner nap. Don't sleep for that long though! We still have the pie to serve!
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving that fills your heart up with love and your belly up with delicious food!