The meaning of Thanksgiving
For many of us, the meaning of Thanksgiving usually involves feasting, four-day weekends, football games, floats, family reunions, or simply being a forerunner to Christmas. The “first Thanksgiving,” however, was neither a feast nor a holiday, but a simple gathering. Following the Mayflower’s arrival at Plymouth Rock on December 11, 1620, the Pilgrims suffered the loss of 46 of their original 102 colonists. With the help of 91 Indians, the remaining Pilgrims survived the bitter winter and yielded a bountiful harvest in 1621. In celebration, a traditional English harvest festival, lasting three days brought the Pilgrims and natives to unite in a “thanksgiving” observance.
The meaning of Thanksgiving has undergone numerous transitions, but its main pillars are To gather in Unity, to teach the young and to humbly reflect on all the gifts that saturate our lives. By “giving-thanks” we choose to extend ourselves and give to others less fortunate.
Each Thanksgiving is my favourite Thanksgiving!
I was introduced to Thanksgiving many many years ago, when I first moved to New York and as it happens that it has became my favourite holiday. To this day, it remains my favourite holiday because we all gather around the table – friends and family and people we love and are grateful and thankful of being surrounded by one another.
Later on, I discovered the Macy’s Day thanksgiving parade and especially enjoyed taking my children, nieces and nephews to the preparation the night before. Having had the blessing of living on Central Park West, it became a tradition of watching the parade from our window.
My most recent thanksgiving: gathering family and friends in New York. A group of us, cooking and sharing the joy of the day. My best friend is an not only an expert on setting the perfect table, but preparing the traditional Pilgrim’s menu, making the holiday even more special.
- Create a family guestlist
- If you know people people that don’t have family in town or a place to go, make sure to invite them ahead of time so their Thanksgiving plan is secure
- Plan your table settings and don’t be afraid of having fun! Art de la table in a very festive fun manner is always my choice
- Also make sure to have non alcoholic beverages for people that are staying healthy, like this great non alcoholic apple martini. I would also suggest a beautifuly curated cheese platter for your guests to enjoy until everyone arrives.
- Great display of roasted nuts and turkey feathers
- Special children’s table with supplies! Crayons and drawing materials are always a huge hit! Children can colour a huge turkey or pumpkin – whoever wins, wins a chocolate turkey
- Make sure to have takeaway containers so everybody can go home with the best part of thanksgiving: “leftovers” – they always taste best the next day!
- Virgin Apple Martini
- Μario Batali makes a beautiful Greek style Thanks 9giving turkey which you can find here
Any excuse to celebrate!