Thanksgiving’s Three ‘F’s – Family, Food and Football!

As a Canadian, I am fortunate enough to be blessed with the wonder of two Thanksgiving celebrations. One in October, with autumn colours and cozy sweaters and the other in late November, when you’re bundled up with Christmas songs blasting across the radio and retail specials are seen at every turn. Regardless of your Thanksgiving, they all stemmed from somewhere in the Nation’s history and grew to become the greatly loved holidays they are today!

Living and working here in glorious San Diego, I’m going to give you a little background about America’s Thanksgiving. And fill you in on what you’re missing if you aren’t celebrating on our sunny side of the states! So turn on that Pandora Christmas station and settle in for story time!

When the majority of Americans think about Thanksgiving today, I think it is safe to say that the Three F’s are what come to mind. Family, food and football! 

I’ll get to those. But it wasn’t always that way…

On October 3rd, 1789, President George Washington proclaimed Thursday, Nov 26th, 1789 a day of thanksgiving and prayer, stressing not only personal and national repentance, but moral, intellectual and political blessings that made their government possible. This marked the first celebration of Thanksgiving in America, however, it wasn’t made a national holiday until decades later…

Sarah Josepha Hale, an American Writer most famous for the nursery rhyme “Mary had a Little Lamb” is considered to be the Godmother of Thanksgiving. It took her 30 year campaign including a letter to Abraham Lincoln himself, in the midst of the Civil War in 1863, to finally make Thanksgiving the national holiday that led us to the amazing celebration we have today – including the feast staples of pumpkin pie, turkey and stuffing! 

This all brings me to…family, food and football! These are America’s Thanksgiving past times, and like every American city, San Diego is no exception. So if you plan to celebrate this Thanksgiving San Diego style, look no further. We’ve got you covered.

Family: If you’re looking to gather your family all in one place, I have to take a moment to shamelessly self promote Nancy’s Vacation Rentals. We have a handful of properties left available that we can offer you at a discounted rate if you’re on the search for a home away from home. Our friends over at Pacific Coast Vacation Properties will also be happy to help get you settled for the holiday.

Turkey Trots are largely celebrated in San Diego across the county, raising money for various charities and allowing families to get a little exercise in during a time of, well, over indulgence. 

Skating by the Sea at the Hotel Del is a perfect way to blend the sunshine of California with the winter activities of our colder weathered neighbours. Get that winter holiday feeling!

Food: Of course, there are a number of grocery options if you are looking to do your own holiday cooking at home. But if you’re looking for a more elaborate experience, where you get to stay out of the kitchen, The US Grant offers a family feast and celebration. If you’re looking for a bit of adventure while you eat, check out the Thanksgiving Buffet Dinner Cruise.

Football: If you’re a fan of any of the big six playing this Thanksgiving Day, or simply an NFL compatriot, San Diego has a number of spots you can catch a game. Shakespeare Pub is at the top of the list. Offering the games as well as a roast turkey meal, the atmosphere here will make for a great Thanksgiving game day!

I leave you here and wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving. Eat well, laugh and love! And amongst the cheer and craziness of the day, don’t forget to take a moment to pause and take it all in. There is, oh, so much to be thankful for.



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