This Thanksgiving, like the past few, my husband and I will be celebrating with glasses of French Champagne and a Chateaubriand to share in a cozy French restaurant. And there won't be a relative or a turkey leg within a thousand miles.
Although Thanksgiving is traditionally the all-American holiday when families gather around the table for a home cooked meal followed by a football game on TV, it's not for us.
Like some empty nesters and all the childfree, it's just the two of us for the holiday. Our parents are gone, and our siblings and their children have their own lives and traditions.
We used to cook Thanksgiving dinner at home, but it was way too much food for the two of us. And we don't even like football.
So I hit upon the idea of a nontraditional Thanksgiving — one that doesn't involve Thanksgiving at all: We leave the country for another that doesn't have a Pilgrims fetish.
Normally we head to French-speaking Quebec province to enjoy the savoir-faire of France without having to brave an airport at this busy time of year. For us, both Montreal and Quebec City are an easy, relaxing drive north. And it's a good time to go, after the busy summer season and on the early edge of ski season.
Thanksgiving is just another day up there (Canadian Thanksgiving takes place a month earlier). And best of all, there's no American football on TV. So we watch hockey, the plays announced in French, or simply enjoy each other while the rest of our compatriots are fighting off tryptophan-induced sleep.
Does Canada sound too cold for you? Consider looking south to the Caribbean, Mexico or even Central America if sun and ceviche sound a lot better than stuffing and cranberry sauce.