Despite the fact that Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated or even acknowledged by the French in any way (duh) I ended up having not one, but two Thanksgiving celebrations this year. There’s a reason homesickness usually hits us Americans around the November mark–with the whole family back home celebrating, well, everything that makes family family, it’s hard not to feel left out.
Luckily, although nothing quite compares to a proper Thanksgiving celebration back home, there are a couple of options for those of us who are spending this lovely time of year abroad.
Here are two ways to celebrate Thanksgiving if you’re away from home.
1: Go out to eat.
Americans are everywhere, and sometimes, they open restaurants. Take Treize, for example. Although Thanksgiving traditionally occurs on the third Thursday of November, for most places around the world, that’s just another working Thursday, leaving little time for festivities and feasting.
Treize took this into account by serving their bomb-ass take on a traditional Thanksgiving meal every day until Saturday. My fellow American friend and I booked our seats, headed over, and stuffed our faces.
The menu included roasted quail, sweet potato crumble, grilled veggies, and a ton of other delicious and wholesome treats, all piled up on one plate for 31€. There are tons of places serving dinners like these (and some that aren’t quite) all over Paris, and if you’re spending Thanksgiving in a large foreign city, I’m sure you’ll be able to find your own slice of Thanksgiving happiness.
Pros: Don’t have to cook, no dealing with crazy family members, usually a warm happy atmosphere where you can meet fellow Americans.
Cons: money, accessibility, inflexible times, and the occasional weird menu.
2: Throw a dinner party (or go to one)
After I spent most of Sunday sleeping off the rest of my Saturday (it’s kind of a blur, but I got home at 7 AM and a party boat was involved) I finally crawled out of bed at 2 PM, did my makeup, and got ready for Thanksgiving: The Sequel. See, if you’ve been living somewhere long enough, you’re bound to pick up some great friends from around the globe. (Actually, I have maybe one French friend, since expats tend to congregate.)
Anyway, one of my great, amazing, talented au pair friends decided to throw a Thanksgiving dinner.
Everything was homemade from scratch, absolutely delicious, and full of love. It was arguably one of the best Thanksgivings of my life, despite the poop jokes and the kissing (??).
Pros: literally the closest to a Thanksgiving back home you’ll get, great food, greater people, generally free sans the cost of like, a bottle of wine.
Cons: difficult to organize, find ingredients, and a proper location. Also, I left my camera at home and regretted it all night.
I now have a photography portfolio site. If you’re interested, go ahead and check it out.