My first Thanksgiving experience

Lyse Prentout, Staff Writer

As a French student, I celebrated Thanksgiving with my host family for the first time on Thursday November 24th.

That day I woke up early to watch the televised Thanksgiving parade in New York City with my family. The floats and performers were amazing. I especially liked to see the joy of the children at the sight of the floats representing cartoons. Still I found it impressive and fantastic because the only parades we have in France are military ones to honor those who died for our country and to proclaim the power and beauty of our culture and history.

In the late afternoon we sat down to eat our Thanksgiving meal. Before my experience, I thought that this family meal was going to be similar to a French Christmas meal but I was wrong because this one is quite different. Indeed, in France we are used to eating a main course like turkey and its accompaniments but we are also used to eating a lot of extra before and after the main course and the dessert. In my opinion, Americans are not used to eating a lot compared to Europeans.  In general, in French families, family meals take place every Sunday during the whole day, which is about six to seven hours, unlike the Thanksgiving meal which for me lasted only two hours.

The warm atmosphere of a Thanksgiving dinner is similar to that of Christmas because all the members of my family were happy to be together for eating. Contrary to the weekly dinner in France where we sometimes don’t really take pleasure in eating with our family because it is usual.

What I enjoyed most about this holiday was trying the pumpkin pie. I noticed that during the fall in the United States we can eat a lot of pumpkin based foods. I also discovered that during Thanksgiving the Americans eat rolls with their turkey and its accompaniments. In my country we eat this kind of thing after dessert when we all drink coffee or tea together.