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May 19, 2015 | Matt Mills

The Day Before Thanksgiving

 

Like most family traditions our own began pretty organically, which to say they evolved from arguments between my older sister and I. For about as long as I can remember both Beth and I did our best to protect the normal Thanksgiving meal (with the exception of watching football). This resulted in a number of cultural adjustments our mother eventually relented to such as the famous Hamburger and Fires Thanksgiving of 2002. In a short time thereafter as Beth and I got a little older – but clearly not more mature – we inadvertently triggered one of our favorite family traditions.

Thanksgiving means certain things: big family gatherings, dinner at 2:00 in the afternoon, turkey, cranberry, spurning the Cowboys and still sitting at the kids table when you’re 30. These predictable components of the day, while tolerable, were not the direction we wanted to continue in a family meal. So the pre-Thanksgiving meal was born. The night before Thanksgiving we decided to enjoy the things we want in a family meal on a much more decadent scale…and we all get to sit at the adult table. 

 

 

The first of these meals was celebrated with filet mignon, lobster tail and Cristal, the preferred Champagne of rappers and royalty alike. I’ll forgo my normal tirade on why Cristal is worthy of the price point until next time. The next year we substituted the gold cellophane wrapper for the more classic Dom Perignon, and if memory serves we dined on King Crab that year. In subsequent years the practice has been applied to Christmas Eve meals as well, most recently featuring Johnnie Walker “Blue Label” at home, an amazing Pine Ridge Cabernet at Club 33 Disneyland and the “Amalia” Chardonnay from Palmaz Vineyards and Reynolds Family Winery’s “Persistence” while vacationing in Seattle.

The secret seems to be out, however, as these little family meals are starting to grow in popularity. Maybe we’ll have to start a new tradition or be forced to get along with the rest of the family…

New tradition it is then. 

 

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