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An International Student’s Guide to Thanksgiving

Lucy Shaw, MBA Class of 2017

Thanksgiving  nlucy

1: the act of giving thanks

2: a prayer expressing gratitude

3: a public acknowledgment or celebration of divine goodness

I think they missed one:

Thanksgiving n

4: US Holiday. 4th Thursday in November. Traditionally spent with loved ones eating food and watching football. Followed by “Black Friday”.

Whilst I’m not actually American I have been lucky enough to celebrate this holiday for the last five years. So for the Sternies whose only experience of Thanksgiving is Addams Family Values and the Brad Pitt episode in Friends, here is a handy guide about the holiday – from an international viewpoint.

1. LOTS of food is involved. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potato, sweet potato, green-bean casserole, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, pecan pie. I recommend googling “candied yams” – it takes a special skill to make a vegetable that unhealthy.

2. It’s a great excuse to spend time with the people you care about. If you can’t be with your family, have a “Friendsgiving”, same premise as Thanksgiving. Lots of food, slightly more alcohol. For a truly American experience, round out the evening with a game of flip cup or beer pong.

3. It’s not just about the food. It’s a chance to reflect on the things in our life that we are thankful for.  Family, friends, good health, or when cooking for 25 people this could be as simple as having an oven that works!

4. Take advantage of “Black Friday” (aka crazy bargain day). It will be crowded, but you can get your Christmas shopping done at bargain prices. Or avoid the crowds and do it all online.

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