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Growing up, I loved Thanksgiving (and still do!).
I suppose it was partially because I cherish traditions. Every year, as we cooked through the morning, the local public radio station was our constant playlist. After the feast, we donned our warmest clothing and braved the cold for a walk to ward off that sluggish feeling before we dived into dishes and lingered over dessert. The day was filled with good smells and lots and lots of laughter.
My parents naturally drew people together and whether we had a small feast with just my sister and I or whether we had a table surrounded with recent immigrants, refugees, and college kids who stayed in town for the holidays, the day was steeped with the identity of knowing what blessed people we were and how much we had to give thanks for.
Even when I first moved away from home, “doing” Thanksgiving was really important. One year when my sister and I lived in a 400-square-foot house together, our only table was the coffee table in the living room, but wouldn't you know we put together a feast for ourselves and our parents that was as tasty and joyous as anything we'd had ever had.
(That, and we burned a hole in one of my cookbooks due to the cramped cooking space. I still have that cookbook with the glaring hole to remind me that you can find joy in any circumstance and that good communication is doubly essential when two cooks occupy the same small kitchen.)
So it comes as no surprise that as an adult, Thanksgiving and Christmas are my two favorite holidays. It's not out of sentimentality, but out of a truly profound sense of joy that these are days intentionally set aside to be aware of the blessings that fill our lives, even in the midst of really hard and heavy years.
And besides, I just love food – and GOOD food at that – so feasting holidays are naturally going to be at the top of my Favorite's List. 🙂
So, this year I thought I would gather all our best tips into one common place so that you don't have to go hunting and searching when you're trying to remember how long to cook the turkey or how to make mashed potatoes or what to do with all the extra kids while you're putting the finishing touches on dinner.
No Thanksgiving guide is complete without recipes! You can find all our favorite Thanksgiving recipes at our Thanksgiving Recipe Guide.
May your day, your travel, and your preparations be blessed and nourished by joy!