Happy Thanksgiving 2018

It’s just another Thursday here in Finland. No one’s getting together with relatives they don’t like because cultural pressure requires them to. That’s what Yule is for! Why do it twice, and only a month apart? There’s no parade. People aren’t panicking over turkey. Football? American football? Never was my thing, anyway. Thanksgiving 2018 is a non-starter here. That might be what I’m most grateful for today.

Giving Thanks

While it can be nice to get everyone together all at once, you shouldn’t need a special occasion to tell people that you love them. You can and should be thankful for the positive things in your life every day. In fact, it works better, both for your mental health and your relationships, if you do. Maybe get together for a meal on a more regular basis, and eat things that don’t require a major production to prepare? Enjoy one another’s company, without being beholden to what everyone else is doing.

At the same time, you don’t have to be around toxic people just because tradition and the calendar say you do. Really. You don’t have to fight about politics at the dinner table. There’s also no law that says you’re obligated to eat turkey, stuffing, and all that stuff if you don’t want to. Or can’t, because of food allergies. Also, no one should stress about making a tofu turkey for vegan cousin Beatrix, or figuring out a way to create gluten-free stuffing for cousin Roscoe.

Happy Thanksgiving 2018

Katie’s actually out on a consulting gig most of the day today. I’m spending the day writing. This weekend I’m going to make a faux-Thanksgiving meal for our Sunday dinner. Roast chicken, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and green beans sauteed in chopped garlic. For dessert I’m making a sour cherry tarte tatin. We’ll probably watch some Christmas movies. Just the two of us and pretty low-key. If you read into what I wrote above, you’l understand why we like it this way.

What Did You Do for Thanksgiving?

Tell me about your day! Did you have weird turkey and strange sides? Watch the parade? Go to the movies? Leave some comments below!

Join the Conversation


  1. Not being either American nor in the USA, it was work as usual and Thai-style coconut chicken for dinner when I got home… but I agree with the stuff about being shoe-horned into doing thing you don’t want to do just because it’s THAT time of year.

    I’ve never liked Christmas much. Partly it’s because I don’t like the almost ‘enforced festivity’ of the whole thing. ‘Tis the season to be jolly’ always elicits the question, Why? (And I happen to be a Christian so I get the religious aspects…) More recent analyis has thrown up that I actually don’t like virtually all of the traditional foods, apart from Brussels sprouts. As my dearly beloved does, we’ve solved that one by having Christmas dinner out at a local eatery. Costs a fortune, but I can eat something I like and so can he. Then I retreat into my corner and put some more pages on one of my websites…

  2. Took a nice walk in the cold, sat by a fire, ate good food (ham, no turkey, not my decision), and gritted my teeth through ignorant, racist, homophobic comments by my brother-in-law, though I did not fall for his bait and he eventually shut up. So, you know, typical Thanksgiving.

  3. *smh* Were they trolling you / your past with the ham?

    I was reading an article about how people agree with things they know aren’t true as a way of showing loyalty to their chosen tribe. They also spout garbage they know to be untrue to get a rise out of the fact-based rival tribe. So the best response is to not let you bro-in-law get a rise out of you. Deny him the satisfaction, you’re not going to change his mind anyway.

  4. He was trolling but about Trump. I’m pretty sure that for the most part they’ve totally forgotten the whole Jewish thing.

    He was trying to goad my wife and I into an argument for his amusement. He’s ignorant and racist, gun-totting and propaganda-spouting, cookie-cutter Trump supporter. He could be a really nice guy, but he was damaged in his upbringing, and it may be too late. I tolerate him as long as I don’t have to hear him talk too much, and even my wife has a hard time dealing with him. But that’s family for you. I know there’s no changing his mind, facts be damned, so I don’t get into it.

    Although when he said that everything Trump has been doing has a solid biblical basis I had to almost literally bite my tongue to keep from going off…

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