For all of our friends outside the US:
Thanksgiving, is in many ways, a rather strange holiday.
Obviously, it is a time to reflect and give thanks for things we're grateful for. Some years are easier than others.
But it's really the only American holiday that is based almost completely on FOOD! I don't know if you Canadian folks have the food thing going; I'm betting you do.
This is when family recipes come out in force. Stuffing, breads, muffins, potatoes, etc. This is when folks try and fit tank-sized turkeys into tiny ovens. When I was a kid you had ovens that could take a 25 pound turkey and not even flinch. Is it my imagination or have ovens gotten smaller? And we had two ovens, one smaller than the other. My husband doesn't believe me. We even argued about this in Loew's the other night, much to the bemusement of the sales people. (Am I dating myself? He's only 6 years younger than me.)
But I digress.
It seems to be the only time of year that folks eat pumpkin pie, the fall holidays, especially T-day. Now, I know this sounds so anti-Thanksgiving but I hate pumpkin pie. It is sooo wasted on me. Last year, at my in-law's Mongol Horde Thanksgiving dinner, they must have had 6 pumpkin pies and NOT one apple pie What's that about??
Oh, yeah, the other thing about Thanksgiving, even more than Christmas/Yule/Chanuakah et al, is you see family/extended family you never see at any other time of year. Last year, at my in-laws Thanksgiving there must have been 50 people. Easy. There were tables in every room of the house except 2 bedrooms and the bathrooms. I kid you not. I don't know 9/10ths of these people. Cousins, second cousins, third cousins, babies, in-laws, step-this and that. I wish they had a score card. My adopted Jewish family is the same. But, at least, I know all those people, giggle!
Then after you stuff yourself (diets be damned) there comes the Thanksgiving Ritual. Every family has one. In mine, it was card games. Marty's has a walk in the woods to a huge walk in a former stream bed. They call it "elephant rock." It does kind of look like an elephant's butt.
However, the most common American Thanksgiving ritual is Football Games. Some families have every TV in the joint tuned to a different game. Now, understand, this is mostly a male T-day thing, although lots of gals watch them too. The key word is "watch." After pigging out on all that food, the men retire to "watch" football. However, in most cases, they are watching football with their eyes closed, snoring.
Then more family recipes come out. What to do with the leftover ham and turkey?
This is Thanksgiving, large or small, with family or friends, or both, in the States. No matter where you are, have a happy day!