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My husband is originally from Pakistan and while he’s lived in the US longer than he lived in Pakistan he still does not grasp the concept of Thanksgiving. For me, Thanksgiving is one of the best holidays. It’s about togetherness, family, being thankful, and of course food. And I’m not running out and having to buy gifts—thank goodness I don’t have to send Thanksgiving cards! Several years ago I “slaved” over a huge traditional Thanksgiving feast and put it onto the table for my husband to say, “I’m not hungry.” Needless to say, I had to take a self-inflicted time out on the back step for a bit in lieu of hurting someone. It’s not his holiday—it’s mine, so I learned a valuable lesson that year. Keep it simple, focus on the meaning and make it special for me.

I thoroughly enjoy planning for and executing the meal to include turkey, mashed potatoes (my very favorite food in the whole wide world), butternut squash and pumpkin. So I try and involve my kids in the process. This last year, I created a board on my Pinterest page with prospective recipes and then let the boys review and pick ones that they thought that they would like. And then my oldest helps me with the grocery list and the menu planning. I also tried to pin some ideas for activities that day.


A must do at our house on Thanksgiving Day is watch Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving and what best to go with that, then a “traditional” Thanksgiving lunch! Toast and popcorn!


Here is a shot of the tablescape. I loved the idea that I had found online of the butcher paper for the “tablecloth” (I used this again for Mir’s Fireman Birthday) and I drew on the place mats. I then left the markers on the table for dinner time doodles. Two years ago Zain insisted that we have a cornucopia for the centerpiece and we had a heck of a time finding one. This one we snarfed from the Stop and Shop floral department—they use it for fall arrangements. Zain had made the turkey at school on what he was thankful for and Mir had made a muffin paper turkey, which we used as our decorations.


Zain had made a tissue paper leaf at school, so we scanned that and used it as the decoration on our menu, which he chose.


He then made “place cards” for everyone and we used a clothespin as the place card holder.


The silly straw lions and jars were from Zain’s safari party, which was the week before. It’s the only way to drink jungle juice!


During the day I made gingerbread houses with the boys—but just the facades. Trying to make the whole house gives us more angst than is necessary for a happy day! So after dinner we each decorated a house with all of the candy fixings. They were quickly eaten. Much better than collecting dust through the holiday season!


And everyone on “Durrani St.” had an enjoyable laid back Thanksgiving. And here’s to many more!

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