Once the costumes and scary decorations have been put away it’s time to prepare for the big feast at the end of November. Thanksgiving is always celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. It dates back to 1621 when it was first celebrated at Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts by the Pilgrims and Native Americans. They gave thanks for a good harvest and enjoyed a three-day feast together. Today it generally involves food, family and football.

Thanksgiving is one of the only holidays that almost everyone has off so it is truly a day to relax and enjoy in any way you want. The morning starts off with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. The first parade was in 1924 and now includes marching bands, musical performances, floats and enormous balloons of famous characters like Snoopy, Spider Man and Hello Kitty. People can even watch the balloons, which take 30 to 100 people to handle depending on their size, being blown up the day before at the American Natural History Museum. The parade ends with Santa Clause officially bringing in the Christmas holiday season.

Football is an option to watch and play all day long but then – it’s time to eat! Although most people traditionally eat turkey, every family puts its own spin on the meal. Side options often include, stuffing (and yes, everyone has their own recipe), sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, vegetables, cranberry, gravy, candied yams and pie for dessert.

While Thanksgiving is a calm day about giving thanks for what we have, the next day is Black Friday and it is all about sales, shopping and getting a good deal. Stores traditionally open very early on Black Friday but have been opening earlier every year so that now some even open in the evening on Thanksgiving. If Black Friday is too stressful or hectic for you, there is always Small Business Saturday to support smaller companies and Cyber Monday for online shopping deals. Whichever you choose, options to spend money are everywhere.

Remember that in November…. We “fall back” on the 4th so don’t forget to push your clocks an hour back. You’ll get an extra hour of sleep but lose an hour of daylight until we “spring forward” again in March.

Expressions with the word Turkey or related to Thanksgiving

Talk turkey – Talk about something serious, like business, in a straightforward or direct way. For example, “after you’re done eating turkey over the Thanksgiving holiday, you’ll be ready to go back to work and talk turkey with your boss”.

Go/quit cold turkey – To stop doing something, such as a bad habit, completely or abruptly.

To be stuffed – To be full after eating. If you’re stuffed you can’t possibly eat another bite. If you’ve had a good Thanksgiving meal you’ll probably be stuffed for the rest of the day.


Written by Fleur Isabelle Stewart, English expert at Primera

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