Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love it because there's no gifting requirement. Giving thanks is good, period.
My favorite way of celebrating is inviting people for a traditional dinner with all the trimmings. But subject to the health and moods of extended family members, I've hauled three complaining kids accross the Alleghenies to celebrate with Bob Evans carry-out in my granddad's doublewide.
The main thing for me has always been the holiday. And my goals for a successful holiday are simple:
1. No one cries.
2. No one gambles away the grocery money.
3. No one throws food or storms off in a passion.
I wouldn't have minded hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year. But our apartment is rather small, and the draconian parking regime in our complex merits its own article. My grandfather and parents were otherwise engaged.
This left us on our own. Us being me plus four people who don't like turkey or stuffing, three of whom also dislike sitting around a table for "formal" meals.
That's why we went to Thanksgiving dinner in Chinatown and had Skittles for desert.
Chinese food and BBQ are the only fare that everyone will eat without argument, and the BBQ joints seemed likely to be closed. I would have stayed local in Alexandria, but I haven't seen any upscale Chinese restaurants in my wanderings.
I will (hopefully) return to my regularly scheduled program of shoving Thanksgiving down my family's throats next year. But this year, I decided that the best thing would be an occasion we would all remember with gratitude.