I truly love Thanksgiving. Partly it's the food. Who wouldn't enjoy a holiday where the main component is eating?!? Other holidays include food (4th of July Picnics, Easter Dinner, Christmas Dinner . . . ) but Thanksgiving is food. However, as much fun as eating all that luscious bounty is, I love more than just that. I actually enjoy the whole week. You start the preparations ages before hand.
Here in England I get to cheat a bit. Since there's no competition for the food at the supermarket, I can do my shop on the Wednesday, which means everything's nice and fresh. (I always try and get a fresh turkey from the Butcher, rather than a frozen one, so I don't have to worry about defrosting. But even on a year when I get it frozen, that's still the only thing I get ahead of time. (*Edit* This year's was horrible! There were simply no juices to use to baste. Not impressed. It wasn't dry, but it wasn't up to my usual standards, either.) In any case, the preparations start at least the day before.
Making the Desserts. This year I went with apple pie and brownies with this yummy (and very easy) moose. It's been ages since I made pie, though, so I was a bit worried about the crust. Had a bit of left overs, which I made into a quiche for dinner. Wow. I needn't have worried. Flaky, buttery and soft. :-)
Oh the lovely smells! One of the best bits about Thanksgiving is all the delightful smells. Many times I enjoy that part more than actually eating anything. Oh so yummy. And none of the drawbacks to actually eating it!
Family. I've been known to be terribly homesick for the whole week of Thanksgiving. It's one of the days that I most wish I were with them. Probably mostly because I know they're all together laughing and having fun without me! I've never liked being out of the loop. Fortunately, we've come up with a few creative solutions. The best bit is Clever Endeavour. That's a board game we've had since I was a teenager. Clues are read out and you have to figure out what the object is. You get more points for getting it sooner, but if you guess wrong, you lose points. Points move you forward (or backwards!) along the board. But the game is really all audible, not visible or activity based. So, I can guess, too! So, we always play that or Double Talk (similar idea, but based on Puns). It's great fun, and one of my favourite traditions.
Friends. Since I can't be with my family, I choose to be with my friends. I invite people I love to come share my Thanksgiving Dinner. I choose different people every year (although there have been a few overlaps!) so that as many people as possible get to find out what Thanksgiving means. This year I had 6 guests, only 2 of whom were Americans.
That's what I love about Thanksgiving (apart from eating the food, which obviously is part of the list). So wonderful. A day dedicated to feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. Love it!