Ringraziamento.

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My favorite Thanksgiving of all was in 2007, the year I lived abroad in Milan, Italy, and us Americans tried to show the Europeans how Thanksgiving, or Ringraziamento (in Italian), is really done. We reverted back to our childhood traditions of paper hand turkey invitations and I even had my roommate order a 25lb turkey from a local turkey farm. The most bizarre moment was walking into the local grocery store when I forgot an ingredient and the store was actually open AND there was not a soul in sight (just another evening in Milan). Each one of the American students took on a truly American traditional Thanksgiving dish (I offered to make the turkey!) and we invited all our friends and roommates, a true melting pot of Americans, Italians, Germans, Koreans, Norwegians, Finnish, Hollandese. It was quite the challenge, converting all the measurements and temperatures and then finally figuring out how to transfer a piping hot 25lb turkey across town (and mashed potatoes AND toffee dessert). In the end, it was an amazing evening where we got to show our new friends one of the only major holidays that is solely American - without all the commercial fluff that overwhelms this holiday and strips it of it's true meaning. We also tried to convince them (unsuccessfully) that this was NOT how Americans eat every day. Before slicing the turkey, which we gave our friend Giovanni, the honors of doing, we went around and had everyone say something they were thankful for (in Italian of course). It was quite the lovely evening that I can't help but remember every Thanksgiving.

handmade paper turkey invitations.

italian saturday outdoor market makes for the best produce.

get your head around an open empty grocery store on thanksgiving day.

the bird!

my favorite moment of the unforgettable evening.

In addition, this Thanksgiving I'm thankful for my lovely boyfriend/confidant/best friend/creative inspiration, Chris (aka Chicken). He puts up with me, he encourages me, he tells me to reach for the stars, he makes me confident and happy. Most importantly, he has taught me how to truly love another person with my whole entire heart and to embrace the overwhelming happiness/fear/excitement in doing so.

I hope everyone has a wonderful, wonderful holiday this year, take time to tell your loved ones that you're thankful for each and every one of them! Happy Thanksgiving!