to be jealous that Americans get Thanksgiving AND Christmas?

(297 Posts)
FeuDeRussie Wed 21-Nov-12 16:26:35

Thanksgiving sounds really good. Like Christmas, but no presents to worry about (AFAIK?), just FOOD!

Are there any Americans around who can tell me what Thanksgiving is like? Do you prefer it to Christmas?

lljkk Sun 25-Nov-12 17:17:00

That is complete misrepresentation, ShadyLane. I say that as a Not-Very-Proud-Of-It descendent of very many of those genocidal religious zealots.
But Thanksgiving is a lot more complicated than what you wrote.

Bit like saying that Guy Fawkes Night is a celebration of the Death Penalty and oppression of Catholics and Freedom of Religion.

CheerfulYank Sun 25-Nov-12 11:09:44

Well, it sort of is if you do the whole Pilgrims and Natives thing. But most people don't anymore, it's just a day to gather together and eat and give thanks for the blessings in your life. Bit like Halloween is just a day to dress up and get candy, not Samhain or whatever.

shadylane Sun 25-Nov-12 10:21:33

Thanksgiving is a celebration of colonialisation and genocide. But America and Americans are more interesting than the uk

grin Olivia.

I still would like a turkey smiley. Or maybe Pilgrim Hats? That would be cool! Pilgrim hat smilies!!!

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 25-Nov-12 09:03:08

And you can call the Butterball hotline at Thanksgiving and everything!

kickassangel Sun 25-Nov-12 00:55:54

Pwshwari, last year as the last firework faded on July 4th I suddenly thought 'I can plan Christmas now'.

GreenEggsAndNichts Sat 24-Nov-12 19:31:16

Oh we always left our tree up til at least New Years. I don't know anyone who didn't. Some leave them up til the 12th night.

However, I wouldn't assume those who put the tree out the day after Christmas are all joyless. grin The fact is, loads of us use the day after Thanksgiving to put the tree up, and if you've used a real tree, it's very possible it's at the end of its shelf life by Christmas, especially if it was an early Thanksgiving that year. We did have a year we had to put it out early (er, still not on Boxing day, but perhaps before New years) because it was particularly dry.

We've just had our Thanksgiving meal here. So full! The cornbread stuffing was a hit, which is good because we have enough leftover to last us the winter. Or, Tuesday, at the rate DH is picking at it. smile

PeshwariNaan Sat 24-Nov-12 08:28:49

ps. also like Thanksgiving for the fact that it provides a clear dividing line for getting Christmas-obsessive... I can start cards and tree now (though mince pies and cake have already been made).

PeshwariNaan Sat 24-Nov-12 08:27:53

I'm American but live in the UK with my English spouse.

Thanksgiving is pretty much a time for family and food (and American football, at home). I've found here that instead of one big Thanksgiving with family, we do 3-4 Thanksgiving per year with different sets of friends!!

In fact our English friends approach Thanksgiving with a real enthusiasm - they love it and look at it as a great opportunity to host a blowout dinner party.

I miss my family, but love my multiple potluck Thanksgivings here. smile

(no reason to NOT celebrate Thanksgiving if you're English... find some American friends and join in!)

ItsNotUnusualToBe Sat 24-Nov-12 08:05:06

We're not American and have no connection to America apart from an Anerican football mad husband and we got married in NYC. However, Nigella's Feast made Thanksgiving sound so appealing (food,football, family and being thankful - what's to not like!???) that we gave a go five years ago and now it's a family tradition.

My birthday, and now my grandson, and my brother in law's all fall around thanksgiving and it's a great practice run for Christmas - to check serving dishes, cutlery etc etc are all ready.

We started doing it one year that my friend was planning to be away over Christmas and my eldest daughter was moaning that her boyfriend would be with his parents on Christmas Day (they were 17 at the time)

There's no pressure around presents, wrapping, parties, etc it's just about food.

I regularly cook a roast dinner so it's nice to make an extra effort. Our version is probably not authentic but it's now traditional (for us):

cranberry sauce
bread sauce
mashed AND roast potatoes
toast parsnip
sweetpotato topped with marshmallow (to the haterz: don't knock it 'til
you've tried it)
sprouts, pancetta,chestnuts, Marsala
green beans with lemon
sausage stuffing with walnuts, cranberries
other stuffing
gravy - usually plastic bisto stuff cos that's what they like

I fall short on the pudding front. There's a distinct absence of pie. This year pudding was a lemon rasberry Ginger cheesecake-ish effort from Jamie Oliver 30 minute meals because I know they all like it.

kickassangel Sat 24-Nov-12 04:57:56

I know a lot of people who keep decorations up for a while, but that is partly cos it's just way too cold to take down the exterior lights, so you may as well keep the rest up.

One year dh stole the outdoor switch so the lights couldn't be turned on as he was embarrassed that we still had them going.

CheerfulYank Sat 24-Nov-12 03:05:12

I don't take my Christmas tree down til after New Year's. smile

Ugh...just got back from celebrating Thanksgiving...soooooo full. But I can't stop eating the pumpkin crunch cake. It's just so buttery. I may actually die.

80sMum Sat 24-Nov-12 01:07:41

I remember being very surprised the first Christmas we spent in the US to see all the Christmas trees being put out with the trash on boxing day morning! Everyone went back to work; it was quite an anti-climax. And also the TV schedules were just like any other day; nothing to distinguish Christmas Day from any other.
DH had 10 days paid holiday per year. That was about the norm, I think.

We had another wonderful Thanks Giving. I am not American, but since we moved here our family have always spent it at another families' home. We are made to feel like we belong there and they are lovely, their home is a beautiful palace (compared to ours) and they have hired caterers the last two years. We all bring a dish too so there is a heap of food - this year there was:- home made bread rolls with lemon and poppyseed butter, green beans with bacon bits, courgettes in butter, sweet potatoes with marshmallow topping, mashed potatoes, macaroni cheese (homemade), a huge spiral ham, a huge turkey, sausages wrapped in bacon and bread sauce (my offerings), cranberry sauce both tinned and homemade, gravy, an autumn vegetable casserole then or dessert a gooey pumpkin-buttercake, apple cake, chocolate cake, cookies, whipped cream and ice cream. Really delicious and not the same as Christmas dinner despite the similar ingredients.

It is so much more relaxed than Christmas as there is a real sense of getting together for the sake of it, rather than for the obligatory gifting etc. The kids have no expectations of presents so are having fun without all the anticipation and arguing over toys, there isn't mountains of wrapping eveywhere and toys to be assembled.

I have grown used to it over the 7 years we have lived here and would probably carry it on when we return home as it is just a lovely friendly occasion.

kickassangel Sat 24-Nov-12 00:37:05

we didn't get any sad
even though there were SEVEN pies/desserts there. They all got packed up and put in my friend's fridge. How are 2 people going to get through that lot? There was more than half of each thing left. That's almost 4 entire pies (full size) for them to scoff.

I am SO hosting next year.

leftovers are hotly fought over in this house. Holiday leftovers even more so!

CaliforniaLeaving Fri 23-Nov-12 17:36:20

The leftovers are all MINE, MINE, MINE!! Nothing better than a turkey sandwich, complete with cranberry and stuffing on the day(s) after.

That reminds me of the friends episode when Ross went ballistic when someone ate his leftover thanksgiving sandwich grin

izzyizin Fri 23-Nov-12 14:03:01

A few bodies got put out with the empties this morning - were you one of them, SantyClaws? We achieved something of a record last night. 31 celebrants attended and duly gave thanks for the copious quantities of alcohol groaning tables of delectable harvest fare.

Unfortunately it's a case of 'who ate all the pies' as there are very few slices left sad but on the turkey/gammon stakes it's going to be turkey club sandwiches and gammon with eggs/french fries for the weekend - the resident moggy is thoroughly enjoying his little furry Christmas come early.

Glad your pumpkin pie worked out for you, MissC. Uncarved pumpkin's not a scary vegetable and it's surprising that it's taken so long for it to come into more common usage in the UK. If I'm making carrot & coriander soup I add often add pumpkin or squash - as yet, no-one has noticed or commented on the 'secret ingredient'.

Time for me to close the kitchen - I've been running brunch since 10am and the waffle machine is smokin'. All I'm going to want for supper tonight is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich grin

Molepomandmistletoe Fri 23-Nov-12 12:50:04

Leftovers? I Love them. Bubble and squeak anyone?

musicalendorphins Fri 23-Nov-12 08:53:27

Excuse typo's and poor editing please.

musicalendorphins Fri 23-Nov-12 08:52:16

Yes to turkey leftovers. I love turkey pot pie, and a toasted turkey sandwich, with sage stuffing and cranberry sauce, mayonnaise and lots of pepper.
Yank, maybe I'll to make those crock pot potatoes to take to ds & his gf's on Christmas day, but with vegetable broth. I was musing over what to bring. I will have to have a pow wow with her mom and her. I think her mom is bringing the bird. I am bringing the afore mentioned sweet potato casserole, and maybe a ham.

lljkk Fri 23-Nov-12 08:09:52

Americans love their leftovers, true. I find the British aversion to them quite odd. maybe you all didn't cook them properly to begin with? <<Cackle>>

Vagndidit Fri 23-Nov-12 08:07:09

Leftovers are the very best thing about Thanksgiving, which is why I always happily offer to cook and host a huge turkey dinner (even if we're the only Americans we know in town) The leftovers are all MINE, MINE, MINE!! Nothing better than a turkey sandwich, complete with cranberry and stuffing on the day(s) after.

And there's nothing better than a slice of hot pecan pie with a scoop of melty vanilla ice cream on the side...

Am drooling in anticipation of our Thanksgiving "observed" party tomorrow night!

CaliforniaLeaving Fri 23-Nov-12 06:08:28

We went to my SIL's she had cooked a lot! I totally over ate, Turkey all the trimmings, cheesecake and more. Theres half a pumpkin pie and lots of fresh cream still in my fridge and SIL sent me home with enough left overs to feed us dinner again Friday night, so we'll repeat the meal all over again. I love leftovers.

kickassangel Fri 23-Nov-12 01:42:56

Omg. Went to friends for dinner. Her mum is a total unable to acknowledge that her baby is grown type so took over most of the cooking including bringing 7 desserts.

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