13 traditions you can take back to work


Dinah Washington used to say, “Christmas is for the children, Easter is for the women, and Thanksgiving is for the presidents”. It’s almost like there’s this myth that Thanksgiving is something for poor old old people. If you were fortunate enough to have been born poor, Thanksgiving is such a great excuse to be together with family that you probably forget all about it. I certainly don’t think so.

But since you do, here are some traditional Thanksgiving hacks to ensure that you’re feeling extremely thankful for your day off work – and that your memory can withstand the fact that it’s actually early December already.

Supermarket Bingo

This is an excellent idea for those of you who have hoarded up every item at the till for fear that, by the time you finally make it home, you’ll have almost no leftovers. I live in a suburb of New York, which is highly saturated with fruits and vegetables, and therefore very encouraged to buy some sizeable quantities. My turkey dinner is massive – more than 16lbs – and also includes cranberry sauce, stuffing, pumpkin pie and a massive helping of mashed potatoes. When it comes to portion size, I reckon my hips would fight for it.

And because I’m a really big fan of tweeting, Instagramming and posting pictures on various social media accounts, I decided to join in the fun. I’ve picked up a few helpful hints over the past few years and made this turkey photo diary in preparation for the big day. Although I’ve managed to avoid Brexit, last week’s incredible earthquake and the news that Ben Stokes will likely miss the rest of the series against India, I will still be celebrating with my family and my extended turkey family.

There are 19 gifts to get your family members involved with, including stuffed cuddly monkeys, hamsters, and even pancakes made by Postmates (yes, Postmates). It’ll make a fun, creative way to combine Thanksgiving with the November lottery, and will be sure to instil some of those kids in your life who complain about their inability to be creative into more appreciative of the name of your holiday.

It’s as easy as 1-2-3.

Win A Christmas Wonderland

I’ll be honest, I have no interest in a Christmas Wonderland. I’m a complete sucker for a big Christmas tree, ornaments, decorations and everything else that goes with the Christmas spirit. This is particularly important for my (presumably non-specific) Asian family because Asian culture derives its superstitions around buying the right gift for the right person at the right time. So I’m planning on plonking a lot of fake fur in my stocking. This mania over tacky ornaments means that I’ll have no problem with spotting the perfect tissue box at least a week before it’s needed.

The only moment when I’m likely to break the jar of cheap ‘umami’ mustard I am currently wearing is when we head outside to confront freezing temperatures. I just imagine my loved ones will be ready with their hostelement-esque plastic hob and tepid bubbly when I come out.

Siblings Squabble

It’s an absolute certainty that our family will end up getting together to recreate that scene from The Joy Luck Club in which Joy’s sister Cynthia sits on her dad’s lap and talks to him – for no good reason. Hopefully one of our kids won’t look at me after this has happened and say, “You may not want to make a wish on that.”

Celebrations For Everyone

Just when I thought I couldn’t possibly get more confused by my family and the plethora of celebrations surrounding the holiday, I’ve come across plans for. It’s not just the traditional television specials that will see you close your eyes and watch a great soap before you knock off for the traditional turkey dinner.

Michael and Rachael are hosting three New Year’s Eve bashes – for their sons Max and Oscar and sister Jenna – on either Thursday or Friday night. Mums Denise and Seena and other members of their friends’ families are throwing a different celebration too. Unexpected and in-party plans take on extra importance this time of year. They put a big stock in making your own food, because you’ll end up with a lot more leftovers than you think you’ll need. And anyone who’s enjoyed the classics from River Cottage should be feeling the benefit of that, not to mention the local beer.

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