There's Other Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is well defined by the traditional turkey dinner. (Mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, mac n'cheese, stuffing, dinner rolls, gravy, cranberry sauce, and of course pumpkin pie). 

Most families at least use this as a base for their dinner, and then switch out dishes or alter their ways of approaching the preparation according to their tastes and preferences. Sometimes, though, families can take their own spin on thanksgiving dinner and just have what would be considered a grand meal in their culture's cuisine or opinion.

Other people just don't like turkey and dive straight for ham or another type of meat instead. That's cool too. My mom once made Peking duck instead for the holidays. (Which I definitely recommend! It's not just me, the pilgrims did it too. Not Peking duck, of course.)

I asked some other people about how their thanksgiving feast went, and of course here's some of how my Thanksgiving dinners went.

Other Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving

sauce, pork, steak, barbecue, meat, beef, Grilling, sausage, BBQ
Shelby Cohron


Thanksgiving doesn't have to just start at the dinner table! Celebrate it as a whole day event, and if you're in the South where it's warm enough, take out the grill. Grill up some prime ribs, brisket, sausages, grilled chicken, or even steak if you're feeling it. Serve it as if it was Independence Day with mac n'cheese, beans, potato salad, or even add some corn on the cob.

meat, chicken, vegetable
Lui Xia Lee

Hot Pot

My family has a thing of having a traditional turkey dinner one day and then hot pot the other day. Thanksgiving is really a blessing for my foodie heart (lol). In hot pot, you can put in practically anything you want, and cooking your own food really makes for a more intimate experience. And just like any other thanksgiving dinner, it's easy to lose track of how much you ate so you're sure to reach the same amount of fullness.

You can either go out to a nearby hot pot restaurant (yes, some Chinese restaurants will stay open for Thanksgiving) or make it in the comfort of your own home

platter, feast, seafood, shrimp
Sara Kim

Any Old Dinner, but Better

For most of my friends, their Thanksgivings consist of a similar dinner to their usual, but only intensified with all sorts of traditional dishes from their culture all wrapped in one dinner. As long as the dinner could realistically sustain you and your family for more than one day (and up to weeks), then that can be considered a Thanksgiving dinner!

Some even blend in some traditional turkey dinner elements into it. Others have unexpected dishes added into the mix, too.

So a Thanksgiving Feast Can be Anything?

Totally! The point of the day is to give thanks. It's a holiday to celebrate with your family, and developed to become a time where families gather around the table and bond over delicious food. All the other ways to celebrate thanksgiving are valid and it definitely doesn't have to be a traditional turkey dinner to be considered a Thanksgiving meal. (Of course, that doesn't mean the turkey dinner isn't yummy, because it totally is. It's a classic, and sometimes I crave it-- surprisingly, there's a way to make it in your dorm when you're itching to eat stuffing.)

Happy eating!