If Thanksgiving isn't the best holiday of the year, it is definitely in the top three. Getting together to celebrate with all your family, the wonderful aroma of food filling the air, the brisk fall weather, all makes the day perfect. I've realized that people celebrate Thanksgiving differently, so here's a dive into Thanksgiving at my table!

I absolutely love going home from college for Thanksgiving. It’s a much needed break after weeks of hard work. It’s the time I get to see all my friends from home after weeks without seeing them, gossip to my sister about college and her life, give my parents giant hugs, and cuddle with my puppies. This time home is truly refreshing.

Thanksgiving at My Table: Ritual

My grandparents live in India, and the only other family we have in the US lives in Pennsylvania so Thanksgiving celebrations are usually just with my immediate family. Every Thanksgiving we wake up early to start preparing food. Instead of buying the classic turkey, my family prefers fixing a giant chicken. My mom and dad work on the preparation, while my sister and I start working on other dishes. We love to stuff ourselves during our big dinner, so then we usually don’t eat anything else throughout the day.

Munthira Raju

Dishes we prepare:

Here are some of the must-haves at our table.

- Roasted chicken with vegetables

- Green bean casserole

- Garlic whipped mashed potatoes and gravy

- Cole slaw

- Stuffing

- Salad

- Rice

- Cranberry

- Butternut squash

- Bread

- Pumpkin or pecan pie

- Some kind of drink!

A Dive into my Dishes!

Like I previously mentioned, my family isn't the biggest fan of turkey, so instead, we cook a whole chicken! My mom seasons it with different spices, and includes carrots, potatoes, onions, and beans. One of my favorite dishes is my mom's green bean casserole with French onions on top. The crunchiness and the flavor of the casserole makes it SO delicious. Yum! You can never go wrong with mashed potatoes. We make garlic whipped potatoes with gravy, and it just melts in my mouth every time. My family doesn't love stuffing, but they make it for me every year because I absolutely love it. It's always nice to have at least one "light" dish at the table, so we'll make a salad or coleslaw as a way to feel "fresh." My family are big rice lovers, so wild rice is an absolute must! We also bake butternut squash in the oven, and it's so delicious. Another essential is cranberry jelly. My favorite drink during this season is apple cider, but I'm one of the few people who likes it warm. I normally heat it on the stove, add some orange juice, cloves, and cinnamon to really "spice it up." It's honestly probably one of the best drinks ever. And last but not least, we cannot forget the dessert. Normally we get whatever pie we are in the mood for in the season whether it be pumpkin or pecan pie, but it always has to be piled high with whipped cream. 

Munthira Raju

Thanksgiving Around the Nation

Thanksgiving food is so delicious, and I find it amazing how millions of families across the country celebrate the same day with the same kinds of food, but all prepared to their own taste. I’ve also celebrated Thanksgiving with other families that enjoy completely different food than one might consider the "traditional" meal. It is so special to see how everyone showcases their culture, family and history with unqiue holiday traditions. Check out this article that shares different versions of Thanksgiving around the world!

Be Grateful

Every year I wait for this day so I can eat loads of food and stuff myself until I can’t move. I mean that is what everyone does right? And every year, I am incredibly satisfied. Almost too satisfied. But with this satisfaction, comes gratefulness. Thanksgiving is a day of thanks, but it isn’t the only day we should be thankful for something. Yes, it’s a day we share what we’re grateful for with others, but I’ve learned to find something I’m grateful for everyday. To me, it makes life a lot more beautiful and special

October through December is just an amazing season with celebration after celebration. Being able to see your family, celebrating the holidays with the people you love, taking trips, cooking and eating delicious food. It’s all what makes the season memorable.

As Thanksgiving comes upon us, take the time to celebrate with your family, find things you’re grateful for, and eat some delicious food! Gobble Gobble!