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.
It’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.
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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Filed Under: Traveling Thoughts