I recently had a discussion about Thanksgiving dinners with my boyfriend, who is a Russian-Jewish immigrant. He told me that his family doesn't really celebrate Thanksgiving, so he wanted to know what exactly my family cooked for the holiday.
The ideas he shot out were for what he expected the meal to be like were very traditionally "American" foods: mac & cheese, turkey, gravy and stuffing. I responded with laughter and then corrected him on my family's menu.
As a family of Dominican immigrants, we would have the traditional turkey, for showing sake, but also very traditionally Spanish foods. Pasteles en hoja, rice and beans, and empanadas helped to fill our holiday table. This conversation got me thinking: so many American families are only first or second American. So what if the holiday menu changes up accordingly?
I suggest an international potluck. Many of us now live in big cities, so it's very likely that our friends and families have become multi-racial. You could invite a group of friends and family together -- each brings along a traditional dish-- and you have a creative and truly American Thanksgiving dinner.
If your group is a little less diverse, consider themed dinners each year. You could try a different cuisine (Mexican, Thai, Indian) each year, just order to takeout or attempt a recipe at home. Or you could simply switch up the menu so that it's either all dessert or all different types of stuffing. Something that would take your meal out of the generic and make it much more fun. What are the ways that you've found to change up your traditional holiday meals?