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Thanksgiving, But No Thanksgiving! How Do You Celebrate?

Thanksgiving is here! The holiday where eating copious amounts of food is socially acceptable, and where we get to see old relatives (including the ones that we may not always particularly like) and gossip around the dinner table before arguing over politics and what kind of president Donald Trump is going to make, and all that comes before settling down by the TV to watch some football game and dread having to purchase gifts tomorrow for Christmas.

But is that truly the way to celebrate Thanksgiving? Should we feel bad if we don’t have a nice oven roasted (or deep-fried, if you’re confident that you won’t set anything on fire) turkey sitting on a big platter surrounded by stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn casserole, and sweet potato pie, all ready to be loaded onto a plate?

Homemade Turkey Thanksgiving Dinner

Tradition on a plate

Of course not! While I’m a sucker for traditions, Thanksgiving is one holiday where I find myself surprisingly lenient on the unwritten rules of the holidays. I am completely content with spending my time at home, relaxing with a cup of tea, reading a good book, and watching Antenna TV’s All in the Family marathon.

This doesn’t mean that I shun all aspects of Thanksgiving. It ultimately depends on whether or not I get invited to someone’s house to join them on their more traditional Thanksgiving. For example, my brother, a happily married man with a beautiful family of his own and a house that’s more suited for having people over in, usually has traditional Thanksgiving dinners. Last year and the year before that, I spent my Thanksgiving at his house.

However, this year, he and his wife have simply been too busy around this time of the year to begin to plan another grand Thanksgiving like the one we had before. So, what am I doing this year, you might or might not be asking depending on how much of a rat’s rear end that you care? I’m having my own Thanksgiving dinner with my personal favorite kind of celebration food right next to a well-done steak and Chinese takeaway.

Pie prep!

The beginning of a non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner

Home-made pizza is, in my opinion, not a bad way to celebrate Thanksgiving if you’re looking for a break from tradition. I wanted to add a little more to keep it from being just cheese, because while cheese isn’t bad, this is Thanksgiving, an American holiday! Why not go all out and at least whip up some toppings? So that’s what I did.

This smells good, too

Diced and seasoned

I started with the vegetables.

Cooking is a good skill to have

Vegetables sizzling nicely

I sautéed a menagerie of onions, green peppers, and mushrooms for a little bit before adding them on top of the pizza, and it was just about ready to be baked. And because even though we don’t always have to abide by Thanksgiving traditions, it might just be impossible to escape them, because I topped it off with some leftover turkey bacon that I had in the fridge from a salad yesterday.

Don't eat this yet, it's not cooked!

Turkey bacon: optional if you want to minimally have some traditional element left

And after baking it for the right amount of time, this is the beauty which emerged from the oven

Pizza time

Bon appetit

And that just about sums up my Thanksgiving dinner for this year. I plan on enjoying my homemade pie while watching Planes, Trains, and Automobiles…

But let’s not forget the true meaning of Thanksgiving while we’re at it. It’s another reason why I am completely fine with not sticking to the traditional Thanksgiving and why nobody else should worry about skipping it if they don’t want to.

Obviously, it’s being thankful. You can be thankful for anything you want to. A new job that you love doing, the home you live in, the wonderful family or friends you might have, among other things.

Personally, I’m thankful for having grown up in a wonderful household and to both of my parents, whom I love very much. I’m also thankful for my other family and friends, the upcoming post-Thanksgiving dinner that I’ll be attending on Saturday with my father and some family and friends of his, living in a city as amazing as this one, and having the opportunity to speak to an audience, both through this blog and on my radio show, Newspoint, which you can catch every Tuesday afternoon from 2 to 4 on UIC Radio!

Now that I got the plug for my own show out of the way, I’m going to have a nice slice of pizza and be thankful for all that I have in life, and I hope that you also take the time to be thankful for anything in your life that you have to be thankful about. Because appreciating all that we have, know, and love is what Thanksgiving is truly all about to me.

And if you decide to ever make your own pizza on Thanksgiving and you have relatives over for it, just try to avoid replacing the uncomfortable political rants over the government with political rants over pizza.


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