Thanksgiving is a holiday that doesn’t get a lot of play in stories, because there’s not much build-up to it like there is with Halloween or Christmas that have decorations and fun activities. Since Thanksgiving is smack dab between these holidays, it gets even less attention. But this holiday can get fair play in your story if your character stresses about cooking a turkey dinner, traveling, or having the family together.
Since this holiday is all about food and family, you need to utilize both.
Cooking Thanksgiving dinner is an all-day thing. The wife (usually) has to get up early to start the turkey. Then you have to prep the dressing and mashed potatoes. As the day goes on, more food needs to be prepared. Your character can dish our orders to her kids and husband to help her. Or she can stress over the turkey, have a meltdown in the kitchen, or even burn something.
Image from Pixabay
Foods – Turkey, ham, Tofurkey, salmon, stuffing, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, green bean casserole, candied yams/sweet potatoes, crescent rolls, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, brisket
The Thanksgiving Day parade, National Dog Show, and football games are the three main sources of entertainment on Thanksgiving. You can describe the kids anxiously waiting for Santa at the end of the parade, and the guys cheering over the game while your heroine slaves in the kitchen.
Image from Pixabay
Or maybe your characters have a tradition to watch a movie on this day like Gone with the Wind (couples) or The Santa Clause (a family).
This day is all about family coming together. Let your MC spend time with his/her loved ones. You can even add in some family drama. We all know every family has plenty of drama to go around, and on Thanksgiving things can get heated.
Or you can use this opportunity to show a happy family truly thankful to have each other after the obstacles you (as the writer) put them through.
Thanksgiving got a little blimp in Seismic Crimes, but I think I did a good job including the highlights of this holiday while making it fit my characters.
Thanksgiving morning, Donovan woke to the smell of coffee and French toast, the aroma of vanilla and cinnamon was having a love affair with the fragrance of Colombian coffee beans. Beth made breakfast in his high school basketball jersey with the Thanksgiving Day parade on in the background.
Since neither of them had to slave over a feast, Donovan watched the football game with Beth, and he was pleased to learn she was fluent in the ways of football. She knew what first down meant, understood a referee’s call, and knew the main players by name.
“I had no idea you were a fan,” he said during halftime.
“Yup,” she said as she took a swig of soda. “I had to find some way to bond with my dad, being an only child and all. I wasn’t interested in fixing up cars, which in hindsight would’ve saved me a lot of money on my piece of crap car. So, I started to watch football with him when I was eight. I fell in love with the game.” She shrugged as if it didn’t matter, but Donovan thought it was amazing.
When it was time to eat, they put together a simple meal and sat down to eat. In the middle of the table were two cornish hens, a box of turkey dressing, a can of cranberry sauce, and instant potatoes with a glob of garlic butter to make up for the bland taste. It might’ve been simple, but it was better than what Donovan did last year when he ordered Chinese takeout.
Later in this scene, they even share what they are thankful for.
QUESTION: What do you eat on Thanksgiving? I’ll add it to my list. :)