Celebrating Thanksgiving in style and practising gratitude

Thanksgiving can just be a nice opportunity to share food and fun with family (Alamy/PA)
Thanksgiving can just be a nice opportunity to share food and fun with family (Alamy/PA)

Thanksgiving is widely celebrated and many have taken it as a time of giving thanks for what they have, opening up their homes to those they love and sharing in a delicious meal.

It is traditionally celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States.

Having a specific day of the year to do this and discuss what you are thankful for could be a great way to bring people together and appreciate what you have.

So, how can we reflect on what we love and hold dear, while also introducing new and exciting things into our life? Well, Thanksgiving could be the answer.

Practising gratitude

“Practising gratitude doesn’t have to be about big declarations,” says Marianne Trent, a clinical psychologist at Good Thinking Psychological Services (

“In these busy modern times it can feel difficult to not focus on moving forward, and practising gratitude can be a nice opportunity to be mindful and connect to what is going on right now and in the past.

“It is a time for a holistic overview, to count our blessings. We can look around us and see that we are enough and [focus on] those around us we have cultivated friendships and relationships with,” says Trent.

“It doesn’t always need to be vocal, we can just be reflecting and connecting over the things we are thankful for. Quiet reflection on what we are thankful for can be really powerful,” she says.

Trying new tipples

“While we respect the past and look to the future, the Thanksgiving tradition isn’t complete without an Old Fashioned with family and friends,” says Chris Dennis, rum and whiskies ambassador at Campari Group (

“This iconic American cocktail is known for letting the spirit sing, and no bourbon complements the sweet notes and peppery bitters better than Wild Turkey 101 proof,” Dennis explains.

“To make at home, add 50ml Wild Turkey, 101 Bourbon and 10ml simple sugar syrup to a mixing glass with ice. Then add two dashes bitters and stir together.

“Finally, pour over ice into a rocks glass and garnish with orange peel.”

However, he says: “If you want to sip on something longer, try making The Buck – another quintessential American cocktail. A highball that combines 50ml of Wild Turkey Rye, 150ml ginger ale, and ice and garnished with a lemon wedge. Great for those who love the spiciness of rye whisky, but fancy a slightly longer drink.”

With American classics like bourbon so readily available in the UK now, you may be able to find your new favourite to order in the pub.

Enjoying new foods

Although Thanksgiving in the US is very much based on traditions, you can go a bit more off-piste with your meal selection.

“Try a fresh twist on the traditional Thanksgiving dinner by making fried turkey schnitzel with a side of fennel slaw,” says Dennis.

This will be “unbelievably light and balanced, leaving plenty of space for pecan pie if that’s your dessert of choice”.

No family dinner is complete without sharing sides, so placing a large bowl of cornbread in the middle of the table is sure to bring a smile to friends and family.