Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Calling All Americans


Now my last post raised an interesting question ( well for me it did) do American's prefer Thanksgiving dinner more than Christmas Dinner?
To the Brits here, a turkey dinner is a Christmas only thing....
I like the thought of Thanksgiving ... but I'd have it in June.

( the painting is a Norman Rockwell ...one of my favourite artists from the US ...my only complaint is that the turkey doesn't appear to be very heavy ( and if you've read my previous post you would understand that I know how much a turkey weighs)

Anyhow! American readers what do you prefer?

106 comments:

  1. That's one buff grandma.
    Christmas dinner is less prescribed here than Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving without turkey would be just weird, whereas few Americans bother with it for Christmas.
    And like you, I'd like to move Thanksgiving forward 4 or 5 months. Slapping a giant meal on the table only weeks apart is an effort.

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    1. I think in the UK THANKSGIVING is Christmas dinner

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  2. How come the faces of the people round the table are the same colour as the turkey? Are they Turks?

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  3. Thanksgiving in my family...there will be about 25 people and though we see each other often we are still excited about it, Five generations will be there this year...from my mom at 87 to the littlest great great 2 month. Christmas is more for each family to do their own traditions for us.

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    1. To the Brits it seems like double event syndrome

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  4. Replies
    1. So what do u eat for Christmas?

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    2. Ham, of course!

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    3. Thanksgiving is a fairly standard meal throughout the States. Christmas dinner is not. It is often influenced by your ethnic heritage, or the part of the country you are from.

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  5. Omg ham? The Brits would have a fit! Turkey only!

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    1. Yes, that was my problem, alluded to in the comment on the previous post. The boys wanted turkey for Thanksgiving but, as Brits, we wanted turkey for Christmas so we had two turkeys within a month of each other. Since we also had the British habit of turkey sandwiches for tea, turkey lobbies (leftover turkey stewed with potato, onion and sage) the day after, the bones boiled up for soup it was a bloody lot of turkey based meals!! Oh, and then there's new years a week after Christmas.... burp!

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    2. In Australia we eat turkey or ham or both. Some people are keen on pork and some eat seafood

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  6. spouse and I go out to a restaurant for both holidays (chinese, japanese, indian, thai, vietnamese). I don't eat turkey or ham. lasagna or fish for both holidays is also cool in my house.

    PS - norman rockwell is a distant relative of my dear friend spo (sporeflections.wordpress.com).

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  7. Our Thanksgiving has always been about family and food. The whole family gathering. Christmas is kids and gifts and usually a little of a let down. Thanksgiving is always satisfying.

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    1. Thanks for that, it perhaps explains the difference we don't have here!

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  8. Yes, my wife is a "ham for Christmas" person, too. She could never understand how my family when I was a kid had turkey for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's and ham for Easter. And I prefer Thanksgiving because I think of it as a holiday devoted ONLY to food. Oh, and giving thanks, I suppose, if one HAS to.

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    1. To us Brits Thanksgiving is too close to OUR thanksgiving of xmas

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  9. Jean S9:56 pm

    When I was little, we had turkey for Thanksgiving and Christmas, because a turkey is an efficient (and cost-effective) way to feed a lot of people.

    Now, however, I'm pretty flexible on both meals. It's all about who I'm celebrating with and what people are up for. One of the best Thanksgiving meals I ever had involved Thai food in San Francisco.

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  10. Turkey for Thanksgiving and Prime Rib for Christmas! I agree...these two holidays are too close together. This year for Thanksgiving, the temperature in San Diego will be in the 90's....not good for cooking!

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    1. My Mum would cook Prime Rib for Christmas but not all the time.

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  11. Canada here. Our Thanksgiving is mid October and it is turkey.

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    1. Now I never knew that

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    2. Yes, we are the same. Turkey for Thanksgiving. Turkey for Christmas. Ham or lamb for Easter. I am from Manitoba, Canada

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  12. You are not American.

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    1. Quelle surprise!

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    2. You are Welsh. Still surprised?

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  13. Turkey is close to the bottom of my list of edible foods. A ham or a standing roast--yum. No need to switch out any other part of the feast, just the bird for a pig or a steer.

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    1. I love turkey it's so slimming

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    2. That depends on the portion size .😂

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    3. Anonymous8:10 am

      What is a "standing" roast?

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  14. Turkey for Thanksgiving, prime rib for Christmas, and ham for Easter! I no longer have to cook so I'm not complaining...it's the kid's turn to host the holidays!

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  15. I am.not American but just to say, as people aretalking about ham, we have a cold joint of ham on Boxing Day to go with the cold turkey. It is a British tradition.

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    1. And for Easter we have lamb.

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    2. Agreed gam on boxing day

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  16. We always had turkey on Thanksgiving and ham on Christmas. I much prefer ham, but leftover turkey sandwiches are nice. And always with turkey there was cornbread dressing, giblet gravy, white rice, baked macaroni and cheese, collards, yams, and lots of pies for dessert. Christmas desserts were more likely to involve cake than pies, though.

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    1. I am on a learning roll

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    2. But not a Brussels sprout in sight!

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    3. Anonymous8:13 am

      I would live to know what collards are

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  17. Thanksgiving meal is the best! Christmas varies in terms of what is served but Thanksgiving is usually almost always the same menu among a family. There is more of a traditional feel to the Thanksgiving meal.

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  18. In Canada, where we celebrate Thanksgiving in OCTOBER when it should be, the traditional meal is turkey, same as at Christmas.

    As for the weight of the turkey in the Rockwell painting, don't underestimate the sheer brute strength of those old-timey farm grandmas. They could lift a ton with ease.

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    1. I think America should have Thanksgiving in October also.

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  19. Yes, T'giving has a different feel to it here in the west Atlantic. It is, in some cases, more of an obligatory whole family holiday than Christmas. Because there are no presents (remember what materialists we yanks are) it is food, family, and being together. We eat various things for Christmas, often not the same thing every year. In my family, Christmas was usually a beef roast. New Year's had to be ham (there were even superstitions about eating pork and not eating fowl on New Year's day). A lot can also depend on ethnic background.

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    1. Oh, that's right! We also ate roast for Xmas dinner when I was little.

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  20. During my lifetime, it feels as if the Thanksgiving dinner has eclipsed the Xmas dinner.

    Goose or ham, I think featured on our Xmas menu when I was a kid. Turkey seems to be the meat of choice for Turkey Day. Vegetarians and vegans do what they like. When I lived in the UK, we ate Xmas turkey one year and goose the next.

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  21. Thanksgiving is Turkey , we keep it very simple now. Son makes a Turkey Roulade. Butterflied Turkey breast pounded thin, stuffed, rolled up and baked, potatoes, cranberries, cornbread with chilies and fresh green beans . and of course pumpkin pie.
    With more people I would make brussel sprouts, mashed yams with a pecan topping, mashed potatoes and rolls.
    Christmas can be Ham but we have Duck, I love it.

    cheers, parsnip

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  22. We prefer the Thanksgiving meal here although we do have a special Christmas dinner. Our family always has turkey, dressing and all the trimmings on Thanksgiving and then we have a standing rib roast on Christmas. On Thanksgiving we are able to concentrate on preparing the big meal for the whole family and don't have to worry about all the Christmas gifts and activities yet. However for many of us Thanksgiving starts the Christmas season so we usually start all the Christmas decorating the day after Thanksgiving. Today I have been baking all day getting ready for tomorrow - so far apple cake and pecan pies!

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  23. Mexican-Americans have a tradition of making tamales at Christmas (not that you asked).

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  24. Love the idea of Thanksgiving, wish we had it here in Oz but as you say not so close to Christmas. Too much, too close together!
    Too hot here for all that baked food though and many Aussies don't do turkey at all. Ever ! For me the whole leg of ham is the star of Christmas.... with cold chicken, salads, trifle and pavlova.

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  25. Anonymous10:56 pm

    Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Nothing but food (always turkey) family and genuine gratitude. Christmas menus are more flexible, ours usually includes fresh seafood or homemade pasta.
    And as time goes by most Americans would prefer a Trump-free holiday season.
    Mimi

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    1. I would prefer a Trump-free everything...he can take Pence with him too...

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  26. Another Canadian chiming in (Ontario). I love Thanksgiving in October. If the weather is "just right" it is still semi-mild and the leaves are turning colour. Thanksgiving is about pumpkins and beautiful leaves, and harvest and it's a warm, happy holiday. Turkey, sometimes ham as well if you have a big gathering, stuffing, mashed potatoes, some other vegetables (green beans, corn, carrots, Brussel sprouts...), turkey gravy, rolls, pumpkin pie or maybe apple pie for dessert.
    Christmas food is usually very similar but dessert might also include a traditional plum pudding (personally don't like it) and lots of Christmas baking, like shortbread or gingerbread cookies.
    What about Easter? Is it a big holiday for you? -Jenn
    Christmas is much the same, in terms of food

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    1. Sorry, ignore the repeat of that last line.

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    2. What, no butter tarts?

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  27. Turkey on Thanksgiving, beef on Christmas. Veggies for the vegetarians on both days. I like the two holidays close together because those people you can’t see on one holiday, you can see on the other. For me, it a a wonderful time of the year because I am with family and friends whom I love. However, January can be a needed relief from all the celebrations and people.

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  28. I personally prefer Thanksgiving to Christmas. Thanksgiving just feels so good to me, whereas I often feel a bit melancholy around Christmas and it takes much more effort for me to find the holiday cheer.

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    1. Also, turkey for both Thanksgiving and Christmas in my family, although we sometimes have ham for Christmas as well.

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    2. Maybe we need to branch out a bit, Kid. How about salmon for the December holiday? Oh, that's right, you don't like fish... How about lamb? I know, let's go out for Chinese!!!

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  29. We usually have turkey for Thanksgiving. Prime rib, pork loin, seafood, or ham fo Christmas. Along with 100s of cookies and pies. At least that is how it seems. Eggnog at Christmas is a must.

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  30. Turkey on Thanksgiving. It is the most anticipated meal of the year for all of our relatives. The focus is all on the food. Christmas at my parents house is always Turkey and Ham. We use the ham for our eggs Benedict on Boxing Day. Easter is always Ham and Lamb for us. Since my immediate family is so busy all through the Christmas season what with having to go to endless relatives himes, we always have a little thing we call Voila Night! It is always a Prime rib roast, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and some green veggie or other. This is when we have our Christmas crackers and a hunt for the pickle ornament on the tree. Whoever finds it gets an early Christmas present. When we get together with the hubbies Chinese relatives during the Christmas season, we always have crab with garlic noodles!! My friends have traditional Tamale Night during the week of Christmas and others do a potato pancake and applesauce feast. So you see, here in the melting pot of America embrace just about every holiday tradition we can and love it all!

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    1. I forgot to mention that we have jambalaya with our eggs Benedict to honor our French creole and Cajun relatives. It just never ends.

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    2. Oh My Gosh, I forgot to mention our St Lucia buns that we have on Dec. 13th, Don't even know any Swedes, but it seems like a good idea.

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    3. Your family is awesome!

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  31. Thanksgiving is turkey and anyone who says otherwise is unAmerican.

    Okay, I kid about that last part, but we always have turkey on Thanksgiving. We have ham for Christmas.

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    1. what, you don't like my lasagna idea? communist! (wink wink)

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    2. Lasagna? Bah! =)

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  32. growing up we had turkey and ham for both holidays with all the trimmings...Christmas Eve dinner was Sloppy Joe's...all the cooks brought a pot and mixed together..plus spaghetti from the fabulous Italian next door neighbors..at grandma's house...plus cookies galore...as we grew older and the family shrunk we switched to brunch both days...still a plethora of pies, cookies and kolache...

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  33. You didn't ask Canadians but I'll tell you anyway...we have turkey for both Thanksgiving (October) and Christmas. (Easter too sometimes) I've also been known to come up with a turkey dinner mid summer.

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  34. We usually cook a turkey on Christmas, but don’t have a sit down meal, we have appetizers and sandwiches and snack all day. Christmas Eve was always seafood of some sort though. Thanksgiving is always turkey, maybe just the breast depending on the number of people.

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  35. Hi John:
    Ruth from Oxnard California USA
    I prefer Thanksgiving dinner. Christmas is typically Ham and so is Easter. But I'm easy and I get the left overs for all three meals so soup soup and more soup for me!
    The darned Yankee

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  36. When I was a kid, we always did turkey for thanksgiving, and ham for christmas. We don't celebrate thanksgiving now, though. The food and family gathering is great, but we'd rather do it without the backdrop of genocide. So we try to do a harvest dinner in October, but it's harder for folks without a holiday from work.

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  37. Oh the other American thing is that for us Brits the Christmas holiday STARTS with Christmas and flows through Boxing Day to New Year's day. The decorations stay up for the twelve days after Christmas. In The US the "holiday season" starts with Thanksgiving and for many ends with Christmas day. We have often seen homes with Christmas trees thrown out and decorations down the day after Christmas.

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  38. Turkey for Thanksgiving, lasagna on Christmas Eve, Prime rib Xmas Day, Pork Roast for Easter, Burgers and Hot Dogs for 4th of July. [chili on Halloween, candy too; Brisket on Tree putting up Day. ] Christmas, both days, is my favorite, though Cape Cod Thanksgivings were fun---visiting the Pilgrim Landing places and imagining all those hundreds of years ago, wondering what the Pilgrims thought of their new world.

    lizzy

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  39. As an American living in Canada I celebrate two Thanksgivings, the main one being in November. It took me years to get used to Canadian Thanksgiving being in early October (before Halloween!) although I do understand the reason why. Harvest time in Canada is earlier than it is in America due to the climate. Anyway, to answer your question,I prefer American Thanksgiving dinner over Christmas dinner. As others have noted, the focus is on food and family on Thanksgiving. Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, candied sweet potatoes, corn, green beans, yeast rolls, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and persimmon pudding are the basic foods I grew up with at Thanksgiving. A feast! Not so at Christmas, when the usual foods were sliced baked ham, cheese, salads and lots of sweets--cookies, cakes,and candies. Buffet style rather than a dinner. The focus was on gift-giving and watching the children open gifts.

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  40. When I was a kid, Thanksgiving was turkey, duck and goose with all the fixings at Mom's parent home. Christmas was turkey and ham at Dad's parent home. My personal favorites were all the pickles, olives, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie...and cranberry sauce. So my tradition now are only my favorite things for Thanksgiving and lasagna for Christmas.

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  41. Turkey for Thanksgiving in the US is very traditional. In my family Christmas dinner was generally also turkey. It was one of my mother's best big meal options. New Year's was always ham for good luck (along with fish, and fruitcake for good luck.)

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  42. Living at the end of the world, New Zealand doesn't do Thanksgiving and it's high summer, so, if we had any sense, we ought to be eating cold food.... but, no, most/many families will gather and do the Full Works. We will gather in the late morning, for a day of present sharing, food and of courses imbibing. We will be about 22 in all, four generations of inlaws, outlaws, exlaws, and everyone contributes. There will be a ham, a turkey, steak (and sausages) for the BBQ, roast vegetables (potatoes, pumpkin, kumera - sweet potato) and a range of cold salads. Desserts will be mainly cold - Pavlova, berries, jelly, fruit salads and probably a hot traditional Christmas Pudding. Miles more food than needed! The leftovers feed the hoards for days, as the cooks go on strike! Meanwhile the children - those up to about 55 - will have water fights and play back-yard cricket and generally wear themselves out. It is a wonderful time.

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  43. Oh John, I think I need to write a book about Thanksgiving, but I'm not sure I could make it amusing enough to compensate for the hideous rituals associated with this holiday. Yes, it's all about family and food.

    Think about that for a minute: the gluttony, the insistence on ritual food (much of which is gross--sweet potatoes with brown sugar and marshmallows?) the unresolved family grudges and feuds that surface at the dinner table, the drunken grandpa who makes his small grandson cry at the table because he's not used to having to "clear his plate." And really, what is anyone thankful for? That they have an excess of food and can look forward every year for the chance to tell at least one relative what they really think of them?

    My adult children and I are hoping to celebrate the day tomorrow with some interesting food we haven't cooked before, the joy of a 5-yr-old granddaughter, and the safe feeling that we don't have to live up to the expectations of endless relatives who know exactly what we should be doing, instead of what we are doing. That said, I do have some good memories from my childhood (with not too many relatives, because we were a military family and moved often).

    Maybe this is a bit grim, but living in the US right now is not generating a lot of thankfulness. And to answer your question: T-day always turkey, sometimes on Christmas as well, but a ham was acceptable. Okay, to be fair, I am immensely grateful for the love of almost all my relatives, as long as I don't have to hang out with them too often.

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  44. Decades ago, Ken and I started eating leg of lamb for Thanksgiving and have done so ever since. Then for Christmas dinner, we could have a turkey or some other bird. This tradition has served us well in France where whole turkeys are not generally available in November, but abound around Noël. So, to answer your question, I don't prefer one over the other, but enjoy them both as very different special meals.

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    1. Now all of those comments provided an interesting read.. it would seem Thanksgiving is more important ( mealwise) than Christmas dinner is

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    2. Oh yes, Thanksgiving is all about the food. And shopping for Christmas.

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  45. I love the idea of Thanksgiving dinner with lots of family gathered round the table. Christmas dinner for us is Turkey, a sausage, slice of ham, stuffing ball, heaps of veg, roast potatoes and gravy.

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  46. It must be turkey for Thanksgiving and a ham for Christmas!

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  47. I'm in the minority here, but I prefer Christmas. Thanksgiving dinner is so much work and I end up not enjoying it. My husband does all the cooking but ends up in so much pain at the end of the day that I'm like "stop doing it"! Christmas Eve is a cold buffet and much easier to make and clean up.

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  48. I am British. I have salmon en croute for Christmas dinner :-)
    Sx

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  49. since I don't celebrate christmas, I'll have to go with Thanksgiving.

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  50. I think Thanksgiving Dinner is # one . . .Truly Turkey Time . . .
    And for those with less, homeless . . .
    food Thanksgiving dinners are plentiful
    through community, church, kitchens for all.
    Truly a time of giving and including.
    At least that’s how I see it!

    Christmas dinners seem to have more of an
    individual family flare with different traditions.

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  51. I think many Americans like the idea of Thanksgiving but much has been lost over the years.
    We want/like our families to come together, no presents, trees, decorations just come together have a lovely dinner and be happy.
    That is where the food comes in. Food is a symbol of love, happiness and a good time. If you have a big family more food as everyone brings their special favorite dish.
    Sometimes all is not a Norman Rockwell. Old feuds, sibling rivalry can flare up but that can happen at any large dinner.
    Even though today it will be just two for dinner, we will take time out to give thanks for all our blessings.

    Happy Thanksgiving John and your family.
    cheers, parsnip

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  52. After 35 years of cooking turkey with all the trimmings I have officially thrown in the towel. It's a nice glazed spiral sliced ham I'm warming in the oven.

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  53. Michealmas seems to have been lost altogether along with the tradition of eating goose.

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    1. I just tried goose for the first time last week. Delicious. Shortly after I saw a flock of geese take flight, another first. So beautiful, I got indigestion.

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  54. I enjoy the actual meal of Thanksgiving better. My family and a friends gather at my place. Some stay a few days. Some help with prep work for the feast from the living room while watching the Macy’s Parade. Several different conversations are going on laughter ensued. Cats stirring about for a pet or a nibble. The 🦃 Thanksgiving feast is served with a blessing given. We eat way to much food. Some nap, others watch football and play on their phones. The gamer, got his yeast rolls.

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  55. Um, am probably too late to mention buuut ...
    Always remember that Australia's summer (40Cplus?)is Europe's Winter. Sort of skews the notion of Bloke in Eskimo costume - into a different paradigm.

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  56. Late comment as I was off work preparing for Thanksgiving. We have turkey on Thanksgiving and prime rib roast at Christmas complete with Yorkshire pudding mince pie for dessert. I enjoy Thanksgiving more because its all about the food and family.

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