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Thanksgiving: my favorite holiday

My favorite holiday of the year – Thanksgiving

Many people look forward to this time of year with the holidays just around the corner and Christmas just a month away.  While many people choose Christmas as their favorite holiday of the year, mine has always been Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving – my favorite holiday

While Thanksgiving is a November holiday in the US only (Canadians celebrate in October), it’s always been one of my best childhood memories.  From watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade to college football (and pro football)to turkey, there are lots of good memories I have about Thanksgiving.  Unlike Christmas, it’s not a time to be consumed with presents, shopping, and wish lists.  Thanksgiving truly is a time to be thankful and just enjoy time with family with no expectations.

As a kid, I remember Thanksgivings at both of my grandparents’ house.  For a number of years, we had Thanksgiving at a huge family reunion for my mom’s side of the family where I met many relatives I never knew existed.

Many years, Thanksgiving was spent at our house or at my aunt and uncles.  The theme of my Thanksgiving memories has always been family and it’s just those great memories of time with family, turkey, and football.  For me, it’s all the little things that make Thanksgiving my favorite holiday of the year.

Thanksgiving memories

Thanksgiving my favorite holiday South Carolina Clemson footballIt’s hard to express in words why the holiday is so special to me.  I am sure sharing memories of my past Thanksgivings don’t make my argument for this as the best holiday any more convincing.  However, it’s one of those times where it’s about being together more than it is about what happened or a particular moment.

There are some unique moments and things I love about Thanksgiving.  In 2005, I enjoyed a special Thanksgiving in Paris, France.  In 2009 and 2011, I watched the University of South Carolina slaughter the Clemson Tigers 34-17 and 34 – 13 – my first Gamecock football games in almost a decade (check out the stories and photos from the South Carolina/Clemson rivalry as part of my College Football Travel Tour)!

This isn’t to say all Thanksgivings have been special.  One year when I was in college, I came home for Thanksgiving and we went out to eat.  I was ticked.  You don’t spend Thanksgiving in a restaurant and I vowed never to do that again.

In 2003, I was living here on my own with no family and no close friends.  I spent that Thanksgiving alone, sleeping in until noon but making a turkey for the first time in my life.  However, Thanksgiving with just me and my dog wasn’t the best way to spend Thanksgiving and was probably the worst one of my life.

My favorite travel holiday

As a travel writer, I don’t really write about these special memories (but I do write about memorable moments from travel), Thanksgiving dishes, or the after Thanksgiving sales.  However, my passion for Thanksgiving makes this one of my favorite times of the year for writing.

Hence, I have gone a bit overboard on my travel tips for Thanksgiving travel.  However, the source of my passion is genuine – it is my favorite holiday of the year.

And while Thanksgiving isn’t always about travel, I have experienced it with family, at home, all alone, and halfway around the world.

This year, I will be alone for most of Thanksgiving as I will be flying to Oregon as part of my Expedia College Football Travel Tour.  Flying and driving will get me to Corvallis around midnight Thanksgiving night.  However, this will still be a fun weekend – even without family or turkey.

If you are traveling for Thanksgiving, stay safe and enjoy this special time with family.  Since Thanksgiving is a big travel holiday, here are some holiday travel tips to get you there safely and sanely.

Holiday traveling tips: traveling with kids

Essential holiday travel tips

12 tips to avoid airport security lines

Travel 101: What you need to know about TSA body scanners (AIT)

So whatever holiday you enjoy, there is something that holidays and travel have in common for me – the best memories and experiences are those spent with other people.

Thanksgiving photo (Flickr: cletch)

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  1. I love how into Thanksgiving you are–I have the same feeling! Thanksgiving will forever be an awesome day filled with family and friends, great stories(or crazy one’s told by Grandpa), and of course–the food! I would travel far and wide to reconnect with my family for Thanksgiving, and I thank you for going overboard with the travel advice :)

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Thank you Nicole! Hope you have a great Thanksgiving planned this year. I have to admit traveling during Thanksgiving is my least favorite time of year to travel. Hence, all the travel advice to save money, avoid the stress, etc. :) Fortunately, I don’t have to travel very often for Thanksgiving!

  2. Adam says:

    Great post, Jeremy! Thanksgiving is also my favorite holiday. While I do love Christmas, all the hoopla and consumerism does get to me after going through 2 months of the holiday getting shoved down our throats. Thanksgiving is just so much more laid back, and it truly is a time to spend with our loved ones. I love your enthusiasm for this great holiday, and you’ve been throwing out great travel tips all week long now. Have a great day tomorrow!

    • Thanks Adam! Thanksgiving is that much more meaningful now that I have kids. It really is so much better than Christmas. I could go off on a Christmas rant and all the things I don’t like about it but I will spare you. :) Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  3. Norbert says:

    Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays too. I always used to spend it with my family, but since I’ve been living by myself in NY, I always spend it with friends. Favorite thing about Thanksgiving… FOOD!!!

    • Family or friends – whatever matters Norbert! Just don’t do what I need in 2003 – spending it alone is not fun. And I am with you – I love the food! My wife bought two turkeys – one for the family on Thanksgiving and one for me later! :)

  4. Mark says:

    Great post Jeremy! I’m pretty fond of this holiday as well, but I’m not sure I’m ready to see the outcome of the annual Thanksgiving Day game against our rivals Texas A &M! Who knows, we may get an early Christmas gift and pull out a victory…haha! Hook’em Horns! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your entire family! Have a fun and safe one!

    • Thanks Mark! Thanksgiving is so much better than Christmas and love the fact that it is laid back and much less about stuff and more about people. Good luck against the Aggies! I am really hoping for a beatdown of Clemson on Saturday!

  5. LeslieTravel says:

    Great post Jeremy! I’m impressed you remember each Thanksgiving so specifically. I’ve always been partial to Halloween– I can tell you what I did or wore for every Halloween since I can remember, but Thanksgiving is usually a blur. Well, have a wonderful holiday with your family this year :)

    • Ironically, Halloween is probably my least favorite one of the year. Loading kids up on sugar and candy is not a good idea in my opinion! :) Plus I am against sugar and sweets for kids because of the unhealthy eating habits it can cause. But enough about that – I understand why so many people enjoy it and as you have seen, I probably work harder on my Halloween articles than any other ones I do all year. With that said, I love the family aspect of Thanksgiving and do have many fond memories. Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

  6. Steve Whitty says:

    Have a great Thanksgiving Day. Enjoy the dinner.
    Steve Whitty recently posted..City of LichfieldMy Profile

    • Thanks Steve! However, I didn’t have Thanksgiving dinner this year. I was traveling to Oregon. Definitely different than most Thanksgivings for me. However, I did enjoy my weekend watching some football :)

  7. Kathryn says:

    I love thanksgiving too. I even like thanksgiving themed tv episodes. :)
    Kathryn recently posted..How to Speak New Zealand for North AmericansMy Profile

    • I like Thanksgiving TV episodes too. I watched a few of the Thanksgiving Friends episodes this year. It really is my favorite time of year although this year was a bit different for me.

      What did you do to celebrate Thanksgiving this year?

  8. Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving!
    Traveling Ted recently posted..Happy Thanksgiving and the year of the wild turkey photo essayMy Profile

    • Thanks Ted! I was traveling most of the day so my Thanksgiving was spent in airports. I didn’t even get turkey this year. However, I did enjoy the weekend! You have any Thanksgiving traditions? I love watching football on Thanksgiving Day!

  9. Kriszti says:

    Although I’m already late now I want to wish you a very happy post-thanksgiving:) It’s been my favorite holiday as well!

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