Thanksgiving is a holiday primarily celebrated in the United States and Canada. It signifies a time for people to give thanks for the blessings of the past year, including the harvest and good things in their lives. It often involves spending time with family and friends, enjoying a special meal together, and reflecting on gratitude. Some people also take the opportunity to reflect on the historical aspects of Thanksgiving, which has more complex and sometimes controversial origins related to the interaction between Native Americans and European settlers.
I recount one Thanksgiving when I was living in London, England and it was raining and cold…as the weather can typically be. But on this Thanksgiving Day, I was feeling sorry for myself (and the weather didn’t help) because I was working with a client and managing the installation of a banking software system. While working, all I could imagine in my mind was the warmth of my mother’s home with all the family gathered to feast on the delicious meal and all the love and laughter that I was missing. At the end of the workday, I managed to get home and settled down with a tuna sandwich and chips for dinner. Well, I promised myself to never repeat that Thanksgiving or any other major holiday.
Here are some common traditions associated with Thanksgiving:
Fall Decorations: Before your guests arrive on Thanksgiving Day, many people decorate their homes with autumn themed decorations, including pumpkins, gourds, and fall-colored leaves. However, over the 2 past years, I did a little Christmas decorating by installing my tree and lighting it up with Christmas music playing in the background after the Thanksgiving feast has been put away and we are all settled in for the evening with cocktails.
Thanksgiving Parade: In the United States, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a famous tradition. It features giant balloons, floats, and performances and is watched by millions on television. I love to watch the parade (well it’s playing in the background) as I’m finishing all the food preparations and decorating the dinner table. However, this year, I will get to enjoy watching my niece from Tampa, Florida as her troop performs at the bandstand.
Football: Watching or playing football is a common Thanksgiving Day activity for many people. Well, it’s no exception for me…I grew up in a large family, and as long as can remember football was a big part of our Thanksgiving Day festivities. Why change that tradition now?
Here is the schedule of teams playing this Thanksgiving Day:
- • Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers – Kick-off 12:30 PM (Eastern)
- • Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Commanders- Kick-off 4:30 PM (Eastern)
- • Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers – Kick-off 8:20 PM (Eastern)
The Feast: Many people use Thanksgiving as an opportunity to reunite with family members they may not see regularly. It’s a time for family to come together, share stories, and strengthen bonds over the delicious meal prepared by loved ones. The turkey is a traditional centerpiece of the Thanksgiving meal. It is often accompanied by stuffing (dressing if you’re from the South), cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy, and various side dishes like green beans, corn, and sweet potatoes. This is where I enjoy showing my expression of love for my family, because I typically get up at 4:00 AM on Thanksgiving Day (while everyone is still sleeping) to pull my dry-brined turkey from the refrigerator to begin my multi-process of seasoning and mummifying it. Yes, you heard me right…after I season the turkey, I wrap it with a moist cheesecloth soaked with all kinds of wonderful flavors. By 9:00 AM, as my family comes to the kitchen for coffee and breakfast, my masterpiece is ready to come out of the oven.
Occasional Occasions by Carlton wishes you and your family a wonderful, and blessed Thanksgiving Holiday.
Corporate Chef and Chief Operating Officer