why thanksgiving is the best holiday
Easter is alright, but egg hunts and pastel colors are sort of overrated. Christmas is wonderful, but the month-long hype takes over the actual day. St. Patricks Day always results in an incredible hangover, and let’s be real—Halloween is mildly uncomfortable. That’s why, in my opinion, Thanksgiving takes the cake (or pie I guess?).
Thanksgiving is without the hype (no one has blow-up turkey lawn decorations), so people can actually enjoy the day and not feel bummed when it’s over. It’s squished right between the crisp of autumn and the ice of winter. There’s football, great food, and even better family.
And for me, it’s also nostalgic. As a kid, my brother and I would squeeze between my Nana in the backseat of our Taurus for a six hour trek up to New Hampshire. My grandmother was always extremely generous (a trait passed on to my whole immediate family, me thinks), and always had some sort of treat for us. On these particular trips it was hockey cards. Me and Jim would open up packs and packs with bated breath, scrambling to look up promising finds in our beckett book (remember those?). Before we knew it, 1-84 and 95 and 90 and what have you were a thing of the past.
My aunt and uncle live in Derry, NH, and I grew up believing their home was magical. I would go exploring in their backyard, which my little eyes believed to be millions of acres of pure wilderness. I would get “lost” in the fallen leaves, stamping on sticks while pretending I was an explorer looking for her horse (I had a weird obsession with horses and a genuine interest in explorers). After finding Penny and fighting off the bad guys and discovering a new world or seven, I would come back inside to a house that smelled like butter.
And before the big meal, my cousin would roll out one of those huge projection screens so he could show us photos of his latest hikes. We’d all sit around with a plate full of snacks as he talked (for what seemed like hours, sorry Rich!) of beautiful lookouts and close encounters with mountain lions.
Once dinner was ready, I would force everyone to go around the table and say what they were thankful for. And every year I would answer “tissues,” since I always had a cold (and I was a snarky little girl). Then, of course, we’d dig in. And once we were full? Well, we kept eating. Right?
Going up to New Hampshire has no longer turned into an annual event. With aging and time comes relocation, new traditions, and hectic lives. Now my cousins live in Oregon and Colorado, so my aunt and uncle sometimes fly across the country for turkey day. Other times, my immediate family invites friends over, or like least year, I just stay put and make a turkey with 30 year old housemates.
But this year, the tradition is back: I’m going up to New Hampshire, and am so so super stoked. I’m ready to take a little break from this big city and say hello to New England. I will hard chill with my family. I will watch football and go running in the clean, cold air. And I will drink copious amounts of wine and eat pumpkin every-anything. It’s gonna be great.