Today I will be taking part in a great American tradition that makes me rather wish I grew up on the other side of the pond – Thanksgiving.
Having never actually been part of a Thanksgiving meal my education on the topic is limited almost entirely to sitting on the sofa and watching episodes of Friends.
But the first thing I’m thankful for is that Americans are far better at naming things in an accessible fashion than Brits. We would probably have called the day Pheasant McCrumpets just to make sure foreigners had almost no chance of working out what we’re talking about or joining in.
I don’t need to puzzle though because Thanksgiving couldn’t be a clearer title.
But since I’m going to be spending this Thanksgiving with some American friends I thought it best to do some research to ensure I don’t arrive with something in hand, or say something unfitting, that will make me the laughing stock even before I‘ve had several glasses of wine.
So I googled it.
Surprisingly nobody seems to be entirely sure where this tradition started but it’s definitely something to do with celebrating the harvest of the year.
And eating Turkey is important. Along with stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy, pumpkin pie and a menagerie of vegetables.
In fact overeating generally seems to be important. One woman’s advice column I read suggested wearing trousers (better word than pants if you ask me actually) with an elasticated waist.
I don’t know huge amounts about harvests but overeating is a specialist subject of mine, especially Turkey, so I’m pretty confident I’m going to slide right in to this occasion (if not my Bridget Jones’ style control pants) effortlessly.
The harvest is clearly a metaphor now. It’s a day to think about what you have and say thanks very much. A couple of years ago I would have dismissed this concept as a nonsense but I was a bit grumpy back then. Now I quite like the idea of taking a little time to relax and appreciate life’s gifts.
I also like that it has the comradery of Christmas but without the two month shopping frenzy.
And I like that unlike at Christmas time people seem to get together with the ones they like, not just the ones they love.
As excited as I am about my American evening my bucket list still demands I celebrate the occasion in the US one day. So far I’ve visited New York, California, Las Vegas, North and South Carolina, Washington DC and Florida and loved them all. I’ll be choosing my next spot from this list of luxury boutique hotels in the US and I’m going to make sure I’m there for Thanksgiving. So if you live near any of those places and don’t mind a Brit joining you for supper let me know!
As for this year, for those of you who won’t be with me on Thursday I have a few things to be thankful for that I’ll be mentioning. Mum, dad, sister, health, a tiny bit of wealth, happiness, a home, friends, a job, weekends, and a lovely boyfriend Henry.
And, of course, a blog that, as of this morning, 23,643 of you subscribe to. Thank you so much for reading and Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.