Last Thursday I took part in my second Thanksgiving since arriving to the US with my J-1 visa. I enjoyed it a lot, and ate lots of good food, but I was really impressed with how similar it was to the first time! It is almost as if there is a Thanksgiving script that everyone follows that leads to a very similar but fun routine each year.
It started, as did last year, with meeting up with friends in a small hometown in upstate New York for dinner and catching up. Because Thanksgiving is one of the first times people come home since summer, whether from work or university break, a big portion of Thanksgiving break is about catching up with friends that you haven’t seen in a while. Next, on Thursday morning all of the anticipation finally hits its climax with everyone in a out of the kitchen helping to prepare the huge meal. Simultaneously everyone is also getting dressed up and ready for “dinner” guests to arrive. I say “dinner” because where I’m from in Spain, we eat dinner at 9pm or after. But in the US Thanksgiving dinner starts at 4pm!
Then finally comes the moment to sit down with everyone and eat together and it rarely disappoints. Afterward, everyone begins collapsing in front of the tv, often to watch Home Alone, as their food coma takes effect. Finally, even after the big event what is so nice about Thanksgiving is you still have a 3-day weekend to enjoy however you’d like, shopping, relaxing, or doing whatever you like.