I’m so happy that Thanksgiving is coming tomorrow.  It’s by far my favorite holiday, one that is celebrated by most Americans, regardless of their origins or how long they have been in the country.  I was talking about our holiday plans with Prof. Wachman as we came into the building one day last week.  We talked about the challenges of making Thanksgiving about anything but “the food.”  Let’s be honest — the food is a critical component, but to my family, the day is a cherished time when the usual activities are set aside in order to be together.  That, itself, is something to be thankful for.

We’ll be serving dinner for 13 on Thursday.  My cousin in nearby Watertown and I are partners in the endeavor, splitting the list of dishes to prepare.  My mother-in-law (who, being from England, will experience her first Thanksgiving) is in town, and another cousin from New York will join us with his family.  Add in a couple of friends, and that makes 13 people sitting cozily around my table for 12.  And we’ll reconvene on Friday — 11 of us gathering for leftovers.  I’ve already prepared a few things (cranberry relish and a chocolate nut candy that’s super indulgent), and some big-time baking will be happening in my kitchen later today.

We like to have a mix of activities and restful time during the long weekend.  While we’re all together, we’ll probably see a movie or take a walk in a setting that reminds us we’re in New England — somewhere woodsy or historic.  Of course, we’ll eat well throughout!

But on Saturday, it will start to feel like a normal November weekend and, for me, that will mean reading Early Notification applications.  I’ve already brought home a stack, and they’re stored in a bag in a safe spot under a desk.  I have to keep them in an obvious place, so I don’t forget to read them, but it needs to be a safe place, so I don’t risk dropping a casserole dish of sweet potatoes (with lemon glaze) on them.

To all the blog readers in, or from, the U.S., I wish you a very happy holiday!

(To all, a scheduling note:  the Office will be closed on Thursday and Friday.  We’ll be back to a regular schedule on Monday, November 30.)

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