In my family, we have a Thanksgiving tradition but it doesn’t start until the day after Thanksgiving. It’s called T2 which loosely translates to “Thanksgiving, Part 2.” You see, we take all our leftovers and make even more delectable dishes out of the scraps of whatever remains after the “day-of” feast. Turkey pot pie hot pockets, sweet potato soufflé, mashed potato blinis topped with crème fraiche and smoked salmon, sage stuffing cranberry cookies…these are just a few of the leftover-inspired dishes we prepare every year during the T2 festivities. That’s right, we take our Thanksgiving very seriously.
This event began a few years ago once we realized that getting the whole family together on one day was becoming – like most things in life – complicated. So, we resolved that Thanksgiving wasn’t necessarily about a day, a dish or a single meal; rather, it was a celebration of series of moments that occurred throughout the year that, when put together, added up to something special…something to be truly grateful for. And though the cooking is a multi-day marathon of brining, baking and basting and the cleaning is a chore, the promise of hosting our family and friends brings us overwhelming bliss and utter joy.
To me, T2 is the essence of the Thanksgiving holiday: making something wonderful together and sharing it with those you love.
In my line of work, I spend much of my time on the road with colleagues and clients, and in that regard, those with whom I work become family to me. As I reflected on all the wonderful moments created and memories we’ve made together this past year, I realized I have a lot to be grateful for. Some of the notable highlights for me have been:
- Belgian beer happy hours
- The holiday ugly sweater competition
- Road trips to Bloomington, Indiana
- Inviting each other’s families over for a BBQ
- Celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and promotions
- Trying new restaurants around the country
- Playing racquetball
- Getting lost in a corn maze
- Cheering on the local minor league baseball team
- Pulling an all-nighter (or two, or three)
- Teaching a great group of IU students
- Winning at the casino
- Seeing movies, plays and musicals
- Solving “impossible” problems on the whiteboard
- Scotch tastings (multiple)
- Sailing on Lake Michigan
- Strolling along the river
- Listening to Chicago blues
- Cubs game
- Traveling to India
- Sinking a biz or two (at Nick’s)
…these are a few of my favorite things… 🙂
This Thanksgiving, think about those around you – at work, in your family, in your community, in your circle of friends – and all the moments you have shared together. Those moments are gifts you received throughout the year. Do as you would for anyone who gives you a gift…say two very important words: thank you.
For me, T2 is a reminder to take a breath and inventory the many moments in my life – both personal and professional – for which I am grateful and thank those who made them possible.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!