Thanksgiving is among the most traditional holidays observed by Americans, with rituals dating back decades and even centuries. Some families celebrate the holiday by eating and doing the same things, year after year. While that’s their prerogative, I am truly grateful and thankful for choices this Thanksgiving day!
Let’s talk turkey. Some reports say 90 percent of Americans celebrate Thanksgiving with turkey, evidenced also by the freezer boxes full of Butterballs at the supermarket. Greg and I typically give turkey the bird. We’re just not big fans, so we change it up!
Last year, our neighbors’ daughter wanted to give her mother a surprise visit for the holiday. In cahoots with her father, Nicole arranged for crab and lobster to be shipped to our home, which we prepared along with short ribs and even a small turkey breast for the traditionalists in the family. We kept up the ruse that we were going to a favorite restaurant for Thanksgiving, so when Kathleen and David came to pick us up … Surprise!
This year, we’re actually going to that restaurant. It’s an opportunity to mix things up, throw tradition to the wind, yet still spend time with those we love — friends are the family you choose, after all. We are always grateful for such wonderful neighbors.
Thanksgiving is based on harvest festivals around the world and modern traditional food choices reflect that, but the Pilgrims were definitely not modern. According to history.com, the Pilgrims’ table included swan and even seal. That’s hardly what we think of as the typical feast of the day.
In other parts of the world, the harvest may not look anything like it does in North America. Island nations may find crab and lobster to be far more typical. In Scandinavia, I suspect fish fills the platters far more often than turkey.
There’s a whole world out there just waiting to be explored. So, no matter where you are, choose what you love and give thanks today.
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