My family has a very special Thanksgiving tradition. On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, we have dinner and serve non-traditional Thanksgiving food. Every year, we feature a different cuisine from around the world, and each family member contributes a dish.
It’s pretty rare that my entire (yes, entire, there are 27 of us total) family can be together for the holiday, so we use this Tuesday night gathering to spend time together during the busy holidays. Also, as a family of foodies, we don’t adore Thanksgiving food (I know, GASP) and are always eager to try something new.
This tradition was started by my great grandma, aka my Oma, seventeen years ago. My great aunt hosted after her, my mom hosts now, and I hope to host this dinner in the future.
For the first ten years, my Oma served Thanksgiving food. But (keep in mind, we’re a family of foodies) we eventually realized we wanted to try something different. In the past seven years, we’ve served so many interesting dishes from all over: Italian, Mediterranean, Mexican, Southern, and even breakfast — to name a few. This year, we’re featuring the food from Spain.
New traditions are extremely important this holiday season, and amidst the foodie culture of today, people are always looking to reinvent the wheel, and Thanksgiving is no exception. So here are some fun modern takes on an old-school holiday.
1. Go to a restaurant.
While this may not sound like the coziest idea, it can be fun and festive to eat at a restaurant on Thanksgiving. This could be a cool way to start a new tradition and also avoid the long clean up, which everyone dreads.
2. Volunteer at a shelter.
Thanksgiving is the time to realize all we have to be thankful for. Instead of an opulent dinner, try helping others who are less fortunate. This new tradition will make the start of the holiday season feel extra special.
3. Make a book of thanks.
Every year before dinner, take a photo of your Thanksgiving family. Put it in a scrapbook and ask your guests to write what they’re thankful for.
4. Put a modern spin on some typical dishes
Make stuffing a little more interesting. This bacon, egg, and cheese stuffing is amazing and will definitely spice up the Holiday.
5. Reinvent dishes that you love.
Try, for example, turkey and cranberry bagels. Put your favorite cranberry sauce and stuffing atop a warm bagel and you will be grinning from ear to ear.