Why You Should Celebrate Thanksgiving This Year - A British Perspective

After having spent my first proper Thanksgiving last year with my friend and her family at their home in Mississippi, I can definitely say I’m a strong supporter of this American holiday. Most of us know what Thanksgiving is, not least because of the annual Friends episode dedicated to the day, but few of us here in Britain celebrate it. However if you’re anything like me and love any excuse to eat lots of delicious food and spend time with your nearest and dearest it’s a wonderful time to do so. 



Although two of the big events of the day, watching the annual parade on TV and the (American) football games taking place, may not be so appealing to the average Brit (although trust me, American football is surprisingly  good fun to watch) the huge meal should be enough to win anyone over. Furthermore, the meaning behind Thanksgiving, despite the slightly iffy pilgrims/native americas story, is really rather sweet. It’s a time to give thanks for whatever you want: friends, family, success, health, love and it gives you a chance to think about how lucky you really are. It’s also a time to be generous, I was invited into my friends family home with open arms, fed till I was stuffed, and given a lovely place to stay and they asked for nothing in return.


Most students in America go home to their families for Thanksgiving, but for us in Exeter it’s the perfect time to get your housemates together for a big meal. In fact many Americans have started hosting separate Thanksgiving celebrations away from their families, known as Friendsgiving. This year Thanksgiving falls on Thursday 27th November so if the idea appeals to you, here’s a handy list of some staples that you and your friends can whip up!




Turkey - The main event, roasted in the oven just like we do at Christmas. Some people however deep fry their turkey, but I do not recommend that in your student house!





Sweet Potato Casserole - Made with sweet potatoes, sugar, pecans and marshmallows, sounds strange but it is absolutely delicious.





Cranberry Sauce - Essential with any turkey.




Green Bean Casserole - Another concoction uncommon in the UK, fried onions, are added to the beans as well as a variety of other optionals such as mushrooms and garlic.



Mac ’n’ Cheese - Who doesn’t adore the classics?




Mashed Potato - Rather than our traditional roasties.




Pumpkin Pie - Tastes so much better than it sounds, it’s a sweet, homely creation that’s ridiculously easy to make.


There are also tons of regional recipes that are considered essential, but this is a good list to get you started, think traditional roast dinner with a twist. Thanksgiving is such a sweet and fun holiday, hopefully some of our readers will be convinced to give it a go!


Image Credits: thenovicechefblog.com, taylortakesataste.com, tvmediainsights.com, lecremedelacumb, saveur.com, simplyrecipes.com, budgetsavvydiva.com, lovefromtheoven.com