Wingapo: Michelle’s First Thanksgiving!

I never really cared much for Thanksgiving. When I was younger, I felt it was just a useless holiday that stood in the way of Christmas. In college, I realized the benefits of Black Friday and BAM — a Thanksgiving tradition was born! Some of my friends cringe when I bring up Black Friday. To them, it’s just death by stampede. I don’t pay attention to all that. For the last few years, I have eaten dinner with my family and then met my best friend for a late movie followed by a shopping spree. We have this down to a science. We are not the overzealous electronic shoppers (the ones that run and push at the sound of a bell), but rather the more laid back “I-came-for-the-discounted-clothes” shoppers. We know what stores to avoid and we always have a strategy that circles back to Target and Best Buy once the craziness has subsided. This tradition works for me. In some ways, I almost prefer it to Christmas. Almost.

Last year, the tables turned and instead of watching Addams Family Values until dinner was ready (“It’s Happy Happy Turkey Day! Let’s all eat the Indian way on Happy Turkey Day!”), it was my turn to host the holiday. My mother left the planning and the cooking to my boyfriend, JP, and I. Thankfully, I date a man who happens to be a great cook (Stelle is also married to one!) so I did more of the planning as he did the majority of the cooking. This first holiday needed a theme though. I wanted to create a holiday with menus and place cards and it had to be Disney themed. The choice was obvious of course — (duh!) Pocahontas.


After discussing the menu with my handsome chef, I decided to put a twist on each dish.  Then I used a leaf stamp to stamp and cut out colored paper because my favorite moment of the movie is when the wind blows leaves all around Pocahontas in the very beginning. My parents loved the menus and place cards (my mom didn’t even mind being Grandmother Willow) and JP and I were spared clean up duty. We caught a late showing of Tangled before a long night (and morning) of shopping. Looking back, I really think that was my favorite Thanksgiving so far. This year we’ll be cooking again, but thanks to my heavy school load, I haven’t had the time to think of a theme or create menus. Perhaps next year? It will give me something to shoot for.

My Placecard
John Paul’s Placecard
My mom’s placecard
My stepfather’s placecard
  • Wiggins’ Virginia Starters (Bruschetta)
  • Powhatan Tribe’s Fisherman Salad (Seafood Salad)
  • Pocahontas’ Welcome Bird (Turkey)
  • Grandmother Willow’s Apple Tree Stuffing
  • John Smith’s Patriotic Potatoes
  • Radcliffe’s Spanish Gold (Paella)
  • Nakoma’s Native Corn
  • Kokoum’s Serious Cranberry Sauce
  • Meeko’s Biscuits
  • Percy’s Pampered Pie
  • Chief Powhatan’s Icebox Cake

So however you spend your holiday, whether you’re a big foodie who likes to indulge or just a shopper that likes the day after sales, Estelle and I wish you and your loved ones nothing but the best, warmest holiday! And remember — turkey contains L-tryptophan which can make you tired so if you plan on hitting the stores (see ya there at midnight!), eat light and indulge in the yummy leftovers throughout the weekend!

P.S. A message from Estelle: See The Muppets!!

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