This past Thanksgiving, I hit peak “American.” With three full Thanksgiving dinners followed by four straight days of scrumptious leftovers, I imbibed. I gorged. I indulged. I may have unbuttoned my jeans to fit in that final mini pumpkin pie bite.
I don’t regret it.
I moved to L.A. knowing a scant four people… four people I barely see anymore (mostly for geographic reasons… I’m not a horrible friend, I swear.) I used to fly back east for every holiday and wax poetic weekly about my former concrete jungle lair, New York City. L.A. as a permanent home always seemed like a stretch. Until recently.
Right now, L.A. definitely feels like my place. Getting married this year and nesting in our condo certainly helped; but Thanksgiving definitely sealed the deal.
The first T-day celebration was a pre-game: Drunksgiving.
This was the fourth year in a row I’ve gathered with these friends for a pot-luck, weekend-before-Thanksgiving party. It was tamer than in years past, but still just as festive and yummy. There were card games, there was pumpkin beer, there was a weird-Youtube-video marathon. There were friendly vibes and familiar smiles and that warm, fuzzy, the-holidays-are-finally-here feeling. I’m so lucky to have these friends in my L.A. life.
The second T-day celebration was unplanned and impromptu. Some family came to visit me for part of the holiday week, and we were supposed to all go over a good friend’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. But when my family members found out that dinner wasn’t being served there until 7:30pm, they decided they wanted to make their own dinner so we could eat earlier.
Hence, Thanksgiving dinner number two.
To be honest, this was my favorite Thanksgiving dinner. My dad cooked the turkey and the squash and brussels sprouts and such, and every bite tasted so nostalgic. It was exactly like my childhood Thanksgiving dinners around our dining room table that he used to cook every year. I may have teared up at the first bite of cranberry sauce. I definitely stretched those leftovers for as long as possible.
Then, after digesting, tuning in for the incredibly exciting results of the Westminster Dog Show (obviously quoting “Best in Show” the whole time), and partaking in a surprisingly competitive game of the card game Phase 10, we headed to the evening Thanksgiving dinner at our friend’s house.
The sun had set a few hours ago, and as we walked from our car to their house, past all the open windows in the neighborhood with delicious scents drifting out from each one, carrying my homemade mini pies and Steve’s vegan sides, I had another one of those moments. It kind of felt like L.A. was and giving me a big, moon-lit, scented hug. It was so comforting and relaxing.
Thanksgiving dinner number three was also awesome. My favorite dish: the green bean casserole. This dish had been missing from my previous two T-day dinners, which I didn’t realize until I saw it on the table. And what’s a Thanksgiving without a green bean casserole? Anyway, everything our friend cooked was ah-mazingly delicious (did I mention this friend is basically an amateur five-star chef? It’s cray). As I was sitting around the dinner table, surrounded by family AND friends this time… I felt so, so lucky to have all these people in my life.
Merry holidays, all! I hope everyone reading this had a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving, and that you’re all able to enjoy this season in the best ways possible.
Outfit details, just ’cause:
Tee and sweater: Brandy Melville
Jeans: Nordstrom Rack
Wallet: A Be Spendy by Ju-Ju-Be
Shoes: Sam Edelman, found at Nordstrom Rack