As Turkey Day approaches, many of us are already in full planning mode for this year’s feast. In the United States, we all know the routine: relatives arrive, everyone eats a large meal, and Grandpa falls asleep in front of the television.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with that, but perhaps this year you’d like to spice things up and organize a Thanksgiving outside of the social norm.
Here are some new and exciting ways you can celebrate Thanksgiving this year!
Now, I realize that most of us already incorporate alcoholic beverages during Thanksgiving, but they aren’t usually the main attraction. Organizing a dedicated cocktail party allows you to experiment with various party concepts.
Instead of focusing on putting together a fancy dinner spread, set up an extravagant bar with ice, shaker tins, mixes, garnishes, liquors, and whatever else you’ll need to make intriguing cocktails. This adds a fun twist to the occasion and allows you to express yourself creatively.
Because your focus will be on “liquid nourishment,” you may skip the big meal and serve smaller platters instead, such as charcuterie, dips, and other finger snacks.
Pizza is a crowd-pleaser that will satisfy even the pickiest dinner guests.
Now, I’m not talking about having pizza delivered to your home. Everyone makes their own mini pizzas for a Thanksgiving pizza night! You can buy pizza dough ahead of time (or can easily be created with a little salt, flour, and yeast) and then set up an elaborate display of sauces, toppings, and cheese so that guests can create their own pie.
After the pizzas are assembled and baked, everyone gets a slice of each other’s creation. It’s simple to put together and involves everyone in the family, young and old. It’s like a pizza potluck!
Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and yams are all excellent, but the globe is a vast place with a lot of different cuisines to try, so why limit yourself to just one?
Every year, the family hosting the Turkey Day feast chooses a different foreign cuisine and creates a meal around it!
You can have an all-Italian Thanksgiving dinner one year and all-Chinese Thanksgiving dinner the next. This was something my family attempted a few years ago for Christmas, and it was a huge hit. It’s a great way to keep things fresh and explore new foods from all over the world.
Another alternative is to do it in a potluck style. Each guest is assigned a different country and is responsible for creating a dish inspired by that country’s culture. At the dining table, it creates an astounding array of possibilities and variety.
After all, isn’t Thanksgiving supposed to be about cultural exchange?
A Truly Thankful Thanksgiving
As enjoyable as it is to reconnect with family and have a delicious dinner, the true essence of the holiday is found in giving thanks for what we have and assisting those who do not. For some, taking quick action is the greatest way to express this.
During Thanksgiving, there are many soup kitchens and charity campaigns that require volunteers, and you can make it a Thanksgiving tradition to serve. Every year, my cousins make it their mission to aid those in need by exchanging their “feastly” customs.
A Solo Thanksgiving
The rules for a “solo Thanksgiving” are straightforward…there are none!
Do whatever your heart wishes instead of devoting your time and energy to plans that are etched in stone! Wear your pajamas all day, start drinking bloody Marys at 10:30 a.m., anything you want! You have complete control over your tradition.
For the past four years, my best friend and his wife have spent Thanksgiving at home, eating pizza, and watching the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy in one sitting. It’s become a personal tradition for them, and it works wonders.
Allow yourself one day a year to be as lazy (or not) as you like and enjoy the time away from work.