I apologise to the English people out there who have no idea what Americans do for Thanksgiving. As one of the privileged few who has a foot in both cultures, and ample experience, this is what my family typically does every year. You too can have your own Thanksgiving next year! If you want your children to participate, dress them up in paper pilgrim or indian outfits. Have the pilgrims give ratty, smallpox-infested blankets to the indians, and then proceed to rape and pillage their land. Here is how our family has Thanksgiving:
0900: Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on ABC while eating fluffy omelets with toast and jam. Watch football afterwards.
1100: Help mum in the kitchen with last minute cooking. Drink lots of beer (not me though) while watching football at the same time.
1300: Help dad clean the house for all the guests. Watch more football, and graze the snack table of crisps, salsa, guac, and other dippy type things.
1400: Give up on helping the parents and just watch football. Eat more snacky-type food. Fight with brothers over which game to watch. (If you were Jason’s family, watch the Detroit Lions lose.)
1500: Have a quick shower before the boys do so you can get all the hot water, and make self pretty for guests and family.
1600-1620: Guests arrive. Take coats and handbags, and say how nice they look. Compliment them on how thin they are, even if they’ve gained 2 stone.
1630: Break out fine wine, scotch, and bourbon. Offer fancy hors-d’oeuvres and tell stories about your time in Nam, even if you weren’t there. Brag about children’s accomplishments.
1700: Become bored of small-talk and watch Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving on ABC Family while drinking some craft beer out of a bottle. Have your mother tell you to take your feet off the table, but ignore her and eat more crisps. Argue with brothers about real footy and how Chelsea is destined to win even though you live in a household of Arsenal fans. Pointedly remind them how the family is from Kensington, and they’re a bunch of traitors.
1730: Adjourn to the dining room reserved only for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. Seat every guest in boy-girl-boy-girl fashion. Have slave (I mean, daughter) bring out the salads.
1740: (The salads are heavy!) Say some sort of grace. No one actually attends church anymore, but on holidays, you’re supposed to pretend. To impress the other guests, say it in another language. Extra points if you insult them to their faces while thanking the cook for such tasty food.
1755: Retrieve soup, rinse, repeat.
1810: Have massive amounts of thanksgiving food, which should include large portions of: turkey; two sorts of stuffing: one that was in the bird, and one without bird by-product on it; gravy with bits of gizzard; no less than 3 types of cranberry sauce: Cranberry chutney, cranberry runny sauce that your Aunty Elspeth made, but sucks, and CANNED CRANBERRY SAUCE (which must retain can-imprint, or certain death may occur); sweet potatoes with raisins and marshmallows; ambrosia; green beans with crunchy onions on top; mashed potatoes with butter and aged cheddar cheese; croissants; some other types of food that I can’t think of at the moment.
1900: Moan and loosen belt two notches. Swear you won’t go back for seconds, but do so anyways.
1915: Clear table, offer stronger alcohol… like Everclear. If no everclear is present, serve coffee with Bailey’s.
1930: Tell guests of the four types of pie your mum slaved over. Types are: Pumpkin, Pumpkin with a praline crust, Pecan, and my favourite: Mincemeat and Cream Cheese pie (omfg yum). Disallow daughter to serve pie for fear of an overabundance of whipped cream on said pies. Keep whipped cream away from the boys for fear of huffing the propellent.
2100: Finally get all of the guests to leave and proceed to begin cleanup of 10,000 dishes. Store turkey in freezer to allow for daily consumption of turkey sandwiches until Christmas.
2110: Realise that cleanup will be impossible. Procure more alcohol and sit on the sofa to watch a terrible Christmas special.
I hope this clears up what one is supposed to do during Thanksgiving. People say you’re supposed to be thankful for something… it’s crap. We just watch massive amounts of football, eat way too much, and pass out at nine pm from overeating. Mmm.