Thanksgiving is here! By now, your week has probably been filled with good wishes, busy airports, crazy traffic to the grocery store and lots of hype around the football games happening tomorrow. If this is your first time celebrating Thanksgiving in the U.S., you might notice a lot of similarities to family gatherings in Latin America. The warmth of feeling at home with your loved ones, catching up, being able to wear your old high school or college holiday pajamas without being judged and mindfully preparing your body for the inevitable food coma is all the same. Sounds pretty easy right? What if this is your first time spending Thanksgiving in the U.S. with friends or in-laws, but not your immediate family? Here are some of things you might live through, and yes, we’ve experienced some of these ourselves. Let’s just say we’re grateful to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. Read up!
1) Arriving to Thanksgiving dinner way earlier than you’re used to. Let’s face it, most of our dinners start at 7 or 8 pm.
2) There’s always a brave one threatening to finish all the food. That’s funny right? We laughed too but then nervously filled our plate just in case (twice).
3) Thanksgiving football is a big deal. This year the three games will start with Bears vs Lions, moving on to Redskins vs Cowboys and finishing the day with Falcons vs Saints. If you’re a football fan, then you’ll feel right at home. Just make sure to bring money for the occasional family bet or football dynamic. If you’re not a fan, don’t judge or complain, we had the world cup this year. #NoFuePenal.
4) Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a big way to start the day. Everyone tries to go see it or at least watch it on TV, but with all the chaos of traveling, cooking and decorating, the parade becomes more of a, “I heard it was beautiful. My friend shared an Instastory about it and it looked fun but cold as hell.” Oh well, there’s always next year.
5) Inevitable awkward conversations with your friend’s extended family. You thought those only happened at your family parties? Oh no, Thanksgiving is just another opportunity for them to get you. Whether it’s terrible childhood memories or the inappropriate life status questions, be ready for it.
6) Deals, deals, deals. Get ready to talk about the wonders of savings.
7) Know what you’re thankful for? Better write it down. In most homes, it’s tradition to go around the table and say what everyone is grateful for this year. I know 2018 has been a bit difficult, but you’ll figure something out.
8) Family games and quirky dynamics tend to replace music and drinking. You might miss music getting a bit loud and making people dance their way to and from the kitchen, but maybe you’ll be good without the drinking part. Look at it as an opportunity to wake up fresh and ready for all those Black Friday deals you’ll be talking about throughout dinner.
That’s all we have for now. Our main piece of advise is smile, have fun and if it gets awkward, start eating and just nod. You’ll do great. Gobble gobble!