7 Seasons of Thanksgiving: Re-capping the Past Turkey Days in the US

Thanksgiving Day Parade 2010
Thanksgiving Day Parade 2010

It’s Thanksgiving Day! And my 4-day-weekend has officially started! After an initial confusion over whether or not I’d have to work tomorrow, I decided to just ask for some time off, since the office is usually pretty slow around this time of year. So I am pretty stoked to just get things done in the next four day and be all calm. I’ve also agreed to host an acquaintance, which should be a nice change. We are planning on attending a dinner at a restaurant later-on today (reservations have been made). Together we will be around 6 people total, which is more than I expected initially.

Well, I don’t really have a whole lot to write about, since I’m not doing the actual cooking this year. Therefore I figured it would be a great occasion to revive my Thanksgiving post from two years ago (see the original here) and add a few more pictures (like last year, for example). Here you go!

Oh Happy Thanksgiving Day, how it comes and goes every year. Ever since I moved to New York, I tried to make a point in celebrating Turkey Day with someone or something unusual on an annual basis. In honor of the time spent in this city so far, I thought it would be a fun thing to quickly re-cap some great memories.

During the first year in 2010, my two German friends visited me. We managed to get lost at the insane Thanksgiving Day Parade and watch some of the floats from far away. This was my first and so far last time at the actual parade. I know, maybe I should give it another try, but I can’t forget the masses from four years ago. Perhaps I am just over-exaggerating. We also dished together some great casserole, homemade pumpkin pie, and some sweet potato mash. Unfortunately, the homemade pie fell on the floor before we even got the chance to eat it. Bummer indeed! So one of the girls ran to the corner store (which was luckily open) and saved the evening by buying a new one. The two went on to shop during Black Friday madness, while I was at home curing out a cold and also packing my belongings. Preparing for my second move in the Big Apple – the constant moving flow never disappointed.

Fallen Pumpkin Pie
Fallen Pumpkin Pie
My two awesome friends!
My two awesome friends!
Thanksgiving Day Parade 4 years ago
Thanksgiving Day Parade 4 years ago

Then, in 2011, I was once again packing some belongings together, for my third move in the borough of Brooklyn. However, I was also ditched by another German friend, who had invited me all the way out to New Jersey but then decided to not celebrate with me after all. Although he had planned on treating his brother, me, and his girlfriend to a home-made dinner, he decided to celebrate with the other two on his own and didn’t update me until around 5pm the same day. I had been walking around Union Square at that point and was more than fed up. Disappointed and lonely, I watched a depressing relationship movie some film at the Regal Theatre and treated myself to some great Veggie Burger around Washington Square Park. Well, you know, making the best out of it after all.

The yummy pie
The yummy pie
All of these were devoured if not more
All of these were devoured if not more
Great eggnog and glass art - works great for not having your glass lost
Great eggnog and glass art – works great for not having your glass lost

What a change 2012 was! Two years ago, I was invited to one of the largest Thanksgiving Parties I have ever been part of. These two chicks in Crown Heights were sad that they couldn’t be with their families for Turkey Day, so they celebrated an amazing Friendsgiving with altogether more than 15 people. It was a continuous Coming and Going of visitors. One girl provided some delicious eggnog and great pie. The other cooked a home-made meal. I contributed with some meager veggies sautéed in sour cream and whatnot. It was all about the fun of things, so I didn’t feel too bad about it. We also got pretty drunk on all the bottles of wine and whiskey provided. Unfortunately, most peeps had to work the next day, so no pub crawl came into existence. We managed to stumble home probably around midnight. Well, we as the party’s remnants that is.

In 2013 something quite extra-ordinary happened: Thanksgiving fell on the same exact day one of Hanukkah’s 8 days fell on. Usually, this Jewish holiday is closer to the Christmas holidays or other events. Not in 2013, however. So I was quite a lucky person to have an array of Jewish and non-Jewish friends I could fall back on in rare incidents like these. For example, I was invited to an ugly sweater party, which highlighted the origin of Hanukkah. I was also invited to a Thanksgivvukah Party at my friend’s place. She provided the Turkey, I the Tofurkey and two other people brought lots of wine. I don’t remember a whole lot, but it was a fun time overall. We were four people total but that did not keep us from sticking together until 11pm. Overall, it was a great party and I cherish it because it was the last one I really had.

The real turkey in 2013
The real turkey
Table set for four - let the party begin. (2013)
Table set for four – let the party begin. (2013)

In 2014 I was entertaining a career as a bartender/waitress and I had to work. I did attend a Friendsgiving Party in Bedstuy beforehand, to which one of my friends invited me. I chugged two glasses of wine before heading out and was quite buzzed when arriving at work. The eve before was way more fun. Although working on Thanksgiving might seem like a really depressing thing to do, it was ok. I wasn’t the only one and the restaurant crew closed the place early, since not too many people showed up for our fixed price deal.

At least I get to wear this fancy dress
At least I get to wear this fancy dress

Last year in 2015 I was invited to a Pick-Your-Family-Thanksgiving Dinner in Jersey City. We were altogether perhaps 5 people but this was a really fun event. The host Christina prepared an overload of yummy dishes and took my vegetarianism into consideration (which I loved!). We had a proper 3-course-meal and everything was quite delicious. She is a passionate hobby-cook and sometimes even goes to countries such as Italy to know more about food preparation and cooking history.

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I believe that the Thanksgiving Holiday has shown and taught me a lot over the past 7 seasons I’ve attended it. It’s not so much about the dinner or the Turkey or whatever everyone is eating. Although cooking elaborately and coming together just because of that is pretty nice, too. It’s a great time for reflection and being thankful and cherishing the people that are in your life and your life in general. I’m pretty happy that I’ve managed to make the holidays here work for me, although most of my family is so far away.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone who is celebrating today or this weekend!

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