Too much of the best food + time with family + a break from school = the best thing ever = Thanksgiving.

Impeccable logic, right? Halloween has just passed, and I'm already looking forward to Thanksgiving. I was delaying starting homework, flipping through my planner and realizing how totally slammed I was. Finally, I flipped all the way through to Thanksgiving and breathed a sigh of relief.

Thanksgiving is a time to escape the stress of college life and enjoy being surrounded by caring family. It's a time to relish ritual and relaxation.

Families tend to have their own Thanksgiving traditions, and mine is no exception. My grandparents fly out to Seattle to join us for the long weekend, which means that not only is Thanksgiving day food-filled, but the whole weekend is one gluttonous experience after the other.

Our first stop is always Din Tai Fung. An amazing Taiwanese franchise that we discovered living in Shanghai, Din Tai Fung is the first restaurant I hit when I come back from college. Besides the necessary xiaolongbao (also known as soup dumplings), I strongly recommend the green beans and the spicy wontons.

Ariel Leavitt

#SpoonTip: if you're lucky enough to go yourself, go at off hours or prepare to wait in a long line.

On the actual day of Thanksgiving, my family wears sweatpants for dinner (at that point I don't think I could even fit into jeans if I tried). Continuing the Pacific Northwest food theme, we slurp down oysters and an assortment of cheeses. Meanwhile, my grandma drinks one glass of wine and is hammered.

But never fear, the real meal is still coming.

Turkey (roasted on the grill), mashed sweet potatoes (half topped with marshmallows), stuffing (try this for a quick recipe), three types of cranberry sauce, and broccoli (we need something green) fill the plates and stomachs of my family.

After eating until pleasantly stuffed, we migrate to the couch until it's determined that we've waited an appropriate amount of time and can start eating again. Repeat several times, and that is the weekend. Perfection.