Tomorrow, November 22nd, is the day we celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States. This is one of my favorite holidays. I am very sad that I will not be home to celebrate with my family this year. If you ask any American what they do on Thanksgiving, they will all tell you a story of their Thanksgiving traditions. So in the holiday spirit, I thought it would be appropriate to share with you all my family’s Thanksgiving tradition.
We spend all the holidays with my Aunt, Uncle, cousins and Grandma. Some years we do Thanksgiving in San Diego at their house, and other years we have Thanksgiving at our house Los Angeles. My mom, aunt and grandma are always the firsts ones up, bright and early and start the cooking. My cousins and I tend to sleep in and wake up a bit later than do the adults. We spend all day in the kitchen cooking, baking and just hanging out with one another. It is tradition to wear your pajamas all day until the turkey is put in the oven and all the cooking is complete. At that point we all take turns taking showers and getting all dressed up for the holiday meal. I love being comfy and cozy all day in our pajamas and how no one wears makeup or looks put together. However, after the showers, everyone beautifies themselves and comes to the table all dressed up. It makes the dinner feel very special when everyone gets dressed up and it adds to the idea that this is not just another dinner, but instead a holiday.
Throughout the day, while we are cooking, we have created some very unique family traditions. Every year before the turkey is prepared, a few of the family members gather in the kitchen to partake in the “Turkey Tango”. The “Turkey Tango” is when everyone dances in a line with the turkey and sings this ridiculous song. The songs goes:
Every turkey can tango. cha cha cha
Every turkey can dance.
Every turkey can tango
Then by the end of the song everyone gets grossed out and starts screaming. As gross of a tradition as it is, it would not be Thanksgiving without the “Turkey Tango”.
One of the other family traditions is mine and my dad’s thing. He is a pharmacist and I am a nursing major. We both really wanted to be doctors and love medicine. Starting in 7th grade, my dad and I turned preparing the turkey into a form of surgery and a learning experience. I get really into it and put on medical gloves and sometimes even my dad’s white lab coat. We clean out the turkey, as does everyone else in America preparing a turkey, but instead of throwing away the turkey’s insides, we first examine them and my dad teaches me about each body part and the significance of each part. Everyone else in the family is very grossed out by this so they stay away from this part of the kitchen when we do this.
Once the turkey is cleaned and ready to be put in the oven, we use my dad’s medical clamp from pharmacy school and a needle to start the “surgery”. Most people just sew the turkey closed with a needle, but we like to have a little extra fun and turn it into a medical procedure. I pretend to be the surgeon and my dad is the assistant. He is in charge of handing me the medical instruments and observing. He also assists when I need an extra set of hands. I use his surgical clamps to thread the needle, in order to close the turkey. My dad teaches me different “stitches” and pretend like we are working on a real patient. As silly as it is, we get very into this tradition of ours and take it very seriously. I look forward to it all year so I am so mad I will not get to perform my solo “surgery” tomorrow.
Every year my mom places Sees Candies chocolate shaped turkies on the table for the kids to eat. This is the last of our many traditions. I always devour mine, whereas the others all savor their chocolate turkey and save it to eat over the next couple of days following Thanksgiving. The food is always incredible. I love putting my mashed potatoes on the freshly baked rolls. It tastes like heaven. I normally fill up on the potatoes and rolls so by the time dessert is served, I am always so full. Yet, this never stops me from stuffing my face with delicious cranberry cake and pumpkin bread. By the time the dinner is over, I am beyond stuffed. We all sit on the couch, over stuffed and beyond satisfied and all cuddle and relax.
I love spending the whole day with my family and all being in one place. It is not the holiday that I love so much as it is the time I get to spend with my family and the traditions we have created to make the holiday our own. As corny as this sounds, I get to spend the day of thanks with the people I am most thankful for.
Happy Turkey Day everyone!