Six Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK

Thanksgiving is but three weeks away and Americans everywhere are getting ready to indulge in a day of turkey, football (that’s the dudes in shoulder pads and helmets version) and more turkey. Oh, and some giving thanks too.

Thanksgiving is a very American holiday, but I don’t see that as a reason why other folks from other nations can’t enjoy themselves on what I’ve declared ‘the third best day of the year’ (after Halloween and Christmas).

I’ve explained in the past why I think Thanksgiving should be celebrated in the UK, but this post is more about practicalities; real things you can do to make your Thursday 28th October 2013 more Thanksgiving-ish. So, if you’re thinking of marking Thanksgiving this year but don’t know how, try these things…

Have a blowout meal with friends and family

For a lot of Americans, Thanksgiving is all about the big ol’ turkey dinner. Family and friends come round, everyone eats way more than they should and then settle down to watch TV/show their grandma how to play ‘Call of Duty’ (a regular fixture in the Stone household).

It’s pretty much exactly the same as a Christmas dinner over here in the UK, so I get why you folks might not be too enamoured with the idea of eating a turkey dinner. But really, it ain’t about the turkey – it’s about the time you spend with your friends and family, not being able to talk to each other because your mouth is too full of food.

So, this Thanksgiving, why not invite your family round and cook ‘em up a big ol’ feast of whatever it is you fancy? You could cook up some hamburgers, some hot sauce coated chicken wings (always fun to see your Ma trying to deal with those) or even just order a pizza. Just eat plenty, and enjoy the company!

Enjoy a great American pursuit

American Football

Thanksgiving is commonly associated with football, with a full schedule of games televised to give Pa’s something to do while Ma fixes up dinner. Now, I know a lot of you folks are football fans and the great news is the games are being shown on TV over here in the UK. Some bars are even televising all the games and holding full on Thanksgiving bashes, so take a look at those if you want the full Thanksgiving football experience.

If you ain’t a fan of football, why not enjoy one of America’s other great pursuits for the day? Dig out an old Pro Wrestling DVD (my personal choice being ‘Tombstone: The Best of the Undertaker’), watch a Storage Wars marathon (yeah, storage hunting is definitely a proud American hobby) or just learn a lil’ bit more about the history of Thanksgiving; so long as it’s American, it can be done before dinner and ain’t too strenuous, you’re doing Thanksgiving right.

Run a turkey trot

Turkey Trot

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Thanksgiving is traditionally thought of as a holiday of gluttony but in actual fact, it’s one of the healthiest holidays in the American calendar. This is almost all thanks to Turkey Trots, which are long distance fun runs that a lot of folks take part in for charity.

To my knowledge, there ain’t any Turkey Trots organised in the UK this Thanksgiving but there ain’t nothing to stop you holding your own. Buy a stupid costume, get a bunch of your friends and family to sponsor you and take a nice long run through your town centre – you’ll make space for dinner AND make money for charity too. Awesome!

Be generous

And now comes the part of the post where I talk about the spirit of Thanksgiving, where we look beyond food and great TV and consider what it is that makes Thanksgiving so special. To add to the effect, please imagine a soft but inspirational piano track playing in the background while reading the following section.

The ‘giving’ part of Thanksgiving is real important. Even if you’re the most selfish dude on the planet (and trust me, when it comes to American candy, I ain’t the sharing type), Thanksgiving is the one day of the year you should give back to the world. This could mean doing some work for a charity, putting together a food hamper for those less fortunate for yourself or just something as simple as allowing your stupid cousin Rick to have one of your many Baby Ruth bars.

Be generous and be kind – it’s the Thanksgiving way.

Give thanks

The other half of the hypothetical Thanksgiving pie is giving thanks. Thanksgiving is a great time of the year to take a step back and reflect on all the people and places that make your life a joy, and express your thanks – I like to send a little personalised letter to my Ma, Pa, the pizza delivery guy, Arnold Schwarzenegger (he’s never replied) and all the folks at American Soda (they never reply) every year, although there are plenty of other ways to express your thanks. You could, for example, send your favorite blogger (*ahem*) some Dad’s Root Beer and Twinkies

Watch ThanksKilling

What is ‘ThanksKilling’, you ask? It’s a movie about a mutant turkey that goes crazy and starts killing folks. And not even that awesome sentence does it proper justice. Just check out the trailer.

So, those are just some of the ways you can celebrate Thanksgiving this year, even if you ain’t American. Are you planning to celebrate? Let me know your plans on Twitter @AStoneHCO, on Facebook or leave a comment below. ‘Til next time, Stoneites!