Pre Thanksgiving Bliss

Growing up, my family always observed and celebrated traditional thanksgivings. We would have dinner at each of my Grandparents houses, and when me and my siblings were older, at my parents’ house.
Though my family is far from the picture perfect scenes in films, the holidays always brought us together, and were full of love, joy, and many of my favorite memories.


Its been a decade now, since I first moved from my childhood home in Minnesota, and the past 10 thanksgivings have been celebrated in a variety of ways and locations; for some I made it home, for some I celebrated with friends, and for some I was alone; eating pizza, watching old films and trying to keep the spirit alive.

I love the holidays, and despite the questionable origins of thanksgiving, I will not miss a chance to celebrate gratitude… and love.

I met Charka earlier this fall and from our first date we were inseparable.
As the weeks passed and we grew to know each other more fully, I decided it was time to let him in on a secret;

“So… I’m kinda obsessed with the holidays”, I told him one evening, cuddled up together on the couch. 
“What does that mean?”, he looked worried.
“Well… Im going to want a real Christmas tree…” I waiting silently. I wasn’t holding back.

I expected him to protest at the idea of MY LIVE Christmas tree in HIS living room.
But instead he looked thoughtfully into the distance and responded…
“hmm. Well can we decorated it together?”

My heart instantly melted and we have been planning the holidays every since.

The Plan

The week preceding thanksgiving, Charka suggested that we cook the Thanksgiving dinner for his family and relatives that would be coming over the following Thursday. This might sound overwhelming to some, but I was absolutely thrilled!
I had always looked forward to spending the holidays with a significant other, and I had been looking through lists on Pinterist of holiday activities to do as a couple.  
Making the dinner on Thanksgiving would be a load of fun, and luckily Charka is a great cook!
His Aunt agreed to bring the potatoes, and his Gram to bring the coleslaw, but other than that, we were going to be cooking the entire feast!

As we looked over recipes and starting to plan the festivities, we decided to make some of our own little Pre Thanksgiving traditions. 

The weekend before Thanksgiving we would go out to Thanksgiving lunch, head to the store for decorations (and possibly a christmas ornament to commemorate this event), take photo’s, do our thanksgiving dinner shopping at trader Joe’s, and spend the evening sipping wine and watching holiday movies. 

Pre Thanksgiving Festivities 

This years Thanksgiving Gobblerito goes down as the first of many.

The Gobblerito

Come the month of November, Pennsylvania’s acclaimed, “Mad Mex”, offers the massive “Gobblerito” as its own complete Thanksgiving dinner burrito. This one of a kind turkey tortilla feast, is served up until Thanksgiving day, and is jam packed with house-roasted turkey, black bean mashed potatoes, stuffing, corn, gravy and jellied cranberry sauce is on the side.

I was a bit skeptical upon first learning of this burrito phenomenon, but the feast proved to be everything Pittsburghers claim it to be. 

Festivitie Shopping

Purchasing Thanksgiving decorations and all the necessities for our big dinner…


When I began my downsizing process, before moving into the van, the hardest thing I had to part with was my collection of Christmas ornaments. Even though I had never had my own tree up to this point, I had collected them in hopes of someday sharing them with a family of my own. Unable to just give them away, I wrapped them up and sent one to each of my closest friends. As a symbol of love and community, I wrote at the end of the Christmas letter.  (read letter here)

This year I have Charka, and we are picking out ornaments together. Each one has a memory or story, of our first holiday season together. 

Thanksgiving Photo’s

We took these photo’s easily with a phone ring light, flexible tripod and a shutter button.

Turkey Shopping

We decided to do our holiday shopping at Trader Joes, because of their NON-GMO policy.

We picked up all the ingredients for the traditional stuffing, green beans, corn, carrots, cranberries, and homemade sangria.

Our 22 pound turkey will be roasted with herbs and butter, in a white wine pan gravy. 
(recipe here)

View all of our Thanksgiving recipes here.

Movies and Wine

Recommended Holiday Movies:

-Its a wonderful Life
-Christmas Story
-Love Actually 
-While you were sleeping

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