My family has done a non-traditional Thanksgiving for as long as I can remember.
I couldn't even tell you the last time I had turkey, and I don't even remember what stuffing or pumpkin pie tastes like. For the last six years, my family has ordered in my favorite deep dish pizza restaurant, Lou Malnati's, for our dinner instead. While we can have Lou's pretty much any other day of the year (and we do trust me), I still wouldn't trade it for anything. I know this sounds crazy, but this tradition is something that means a lot to my family and I and has come with so many special memories that I will cherish forever.
Pizza on Thanksgiving is one of my favorite family traditions for a lot of reasons.
One is the fact that I fucking love pizza, and would prefer it over Thanksgiving food any day of the year (and so would the rest of my family tbh). There is something to be said about the classic Thanksgiving meal, but there is really nothing on the menu that I would rather eat over Lou's. So why would we waste our time prepping this gigantic dinner for none of us to really enjoy and wish we just were eating takeout instead. I'm sorry to my die-hard Thanksgiving lovers if this bothers you, but I'm also really not that sorry because pizza is superior to all.
I also love this tradition because it just takes off the pressure that comes with the holiday.
For most families, Thanksgiving has this stigma as this overly-hyped meme, with your whole posse of relatives who bombard you with intrusive and personal questions that make you wish you were anywhere else. Well, for pretty much most of my life, I have done thanksgiving with just my brother, parents, and my two grandparents. It's pretty chill honestly. So when people were freaking out about the fact that their thanksgiving plans were all messed up this year, it honestly didn't feel any different for me (except for the fact that we were wearing masks). I love that our Thanksgiving is so low key and relaxed.
Maybe I also cling to this tradition because I think it perfectly resembles my family--quirky, unique, and fun.
Eating pizza on Thanksgiving is definitely a crazy concept to a lot of people, but it honestly couldn't be more representative of who we are, or at least who we strive to be. Okay, I know I'm turning this into a crazy metaphor here but just let me get on my soapbox for a second. My parents have always taught me to never compromise who I am for anyone else, and to embrace the qualities that make us who we are. As a girl who is still trying to figure out her place in the world, I still often struggle with this. But a simple decision to do Thanksgiving the "Smith" way serves as the perfect reminder to do what makes me happy and not settle for anything less than that. I can't believe I just wrote a whole deep-dive analysis of how eating pizza on Thanksgiving relates to a deeper meaning about my life...damn, I really am a writer.
But when it all comes down to it, who cares what we serve at the dinner table.
The essence of the holiday has nothing to do with Pilgrims or Turkey--it's all about showing gratitude to the people you are most thankful for. And that of course, is my family. There is truly nothing better than being together and spending time with them, and the food is only the cherry on top of that. I am so glad that we have this tradition and I truly wouldn't change it for the world.
But let's be real here...pizza > turkey.