One of the reasons we love Thanksgiving so much is that it is purely about time spent with those that mean the most to us. No gifts necessary, other than something special for the host. The greatest gift of all is our presence around the table, sharing memories and making memories alike.
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Disasters occur, food is lovingly prepared and then devoured, and often the comforts of old movies and cozy pajamas round out the day. Whatever your traditions, though, the golden thread of commonality is time spent with those we love. And isn't time our most precious currency?
After the past few years of distance, travel feels like it is picking up again, and we will all be hugging each other a little more tightly. Amidst the glow of moody candlelight around the dining table we will catch up and soak in every precious moment.
Light some candles, put on some autumnal music and read on to hear our team members most loved and cherished Thanksgiving traditions.
Laurie & JP
In our family, we like to go around the dinner table and share what we're most thankful for. It's a simple tradition, but one that really fills our cups and makes us feel grateful for the life our family has together.
My mother was the ultimate entertainer. She would start prepping her table a month in advance. I loved coming up with a theme for her tables with her. We would also both go out to forage florals the day before Thanksgiving for the table, and then spend the day baking pies.
The Furber family trademarked Thanksgiving item is the upside-down turkey. I'm a pescatarian, but I still love that my dad cooks our turkey the same way every single year: upside down. I believe it stemmed from a year where this happened by accident, but my parents swear it keeps the bird from drying out. I also love the simple and beautiful way my mom decorates the table, and finishing it off with my Grandma Sherry's lemon pie for dessert.
I love a pre-dinner trail run with friends and family if I’m lucky enough to convince them to join me! The sound of fall leaves crunching under foot brings me gratitude.
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Thanksgiving isn't a huge holiday for us, as our big family holiday is Persian New Year in March. But, each year I make an apple pie for each of our families. We spend early afternoons with my parents and the evening with my husband's parents.
In addition to Thanksgiving with family, I also have a big dinner with friends. Our tradition is that each person writes down what they are grateful for on a piece of paper. Everyone throws their folded paper into a hat and we go around in a circle, each person pulling out someone else’s paper and one by one we read them aloud and try to guess whose it is.
Thanksgiving with my mom's side of the family is always a formal affair. The fine linens, china and silver come out, there are flowers and candles and everyone gets dressed up for a party. The real star of the show, however, was my mom's gravy! When the turkey was done, everyone would clear some space in the kitchen and, donning her finest apron, my mom would go to work; tasting and stirring, tasting and throwing a pinch of this and a pinch of that into the pan...until it was just perfect! It was always the PIÈCE DE RÉSISTANCE. Though my mom has since passed away, the family legend of her gravy lives on.
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My tiny grandmother had a knack for getting the wishbone out of the turkey and saving it for my brother and I to make wishes on. My brother often won, but my grandmother would always wink and whisper to me that my wishes would still come true. I have carried this tradition on to my kids, and it is wonderful to see them believe in this silly bit of magic the way my brother and I did when we were younger.
The setting of the table is also a sacred tradition that my mom and grandmother shared with me. They were such stylish and creative women, and who I credit getting the decorating gene from. Every time the last candle is lit on my table I think of them.
I love to spend the day with my sister and my niece and nephew on their property in the country. My pops likes to cook everything and my mom and I usually find an old movie to watch in the evening, and there's usually a lot of dogs around to sneak leftovers to.
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My Thanksgiving traditions spun from moving to San Francisco into a beautiful Queen Anne apartment with the tiniest kitchen you’ve seen. While it was a great home in many ways, it did not make for an efficient family cooking experience and making a meal would take some serious logistical planning. This wasn’t a problem for me as a great Thanksgiving day isn’t about the feast itself, but time spent with loved ones. We’d always start the day by letting our dogs run at Ocean Beach, usually paired with our friendly neighbors and a bottle of wine. After we were good and salty from the crisp ocean breeze we’d unload the dogs and venture into Chinatown for some warm soup dumplings. It’s the perfect mix of city dwelling activities paired with soulful food and conversation.
My parents have a set of leather photo albums full of pictures of our family throughout the years. For most of the year, they sit on the shelf but Thanksgiving always feels like the right time to pull them out and flick through them. It's one of my favourite traditions because it makes me remember all the moments & people in my life that I am thankful for, past & present.
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