it's still october but it feels like the holiday season has officially begun

Our senior year in college, Mike and I lived next door to each other in on-campus apartments with friends. We always had parties in their apartment so that we could keep a nice neat place to live. It was a very convenient arrangement, and it meant that they were in possession of all the party stuff, including the liquor cabinet and an enormous piece of plywood that served as the beer pong table.

During the holiday season that year, we decided it would be fun to have a big holiday feast, prepared and hosted by the 8 of us living in the two apartments. We wanted to celebrate together, since the campus shut down and everyone spread out in all different directions back home during holiday breaks. The beer pong table was the perfect size for the feast, so we went for it. We used both kitchens, cooked a turkey and the entire feast to go with it, served it on the beer pong table, and I think we fed more than 20 friends. It is one of my favorite memories from college, taking time out to celebrate the holidays with close friends, since we would never be together on actual holidays.

A couple years later, when Mike was in law school, we earned a free turkey at the grocery store. We didn't know when we'd cook it, since holidays are always spent traveling to be with our families. Then we remembered how much fun it was to celebrate with friends back in college. So we picked a day, cooked the turkey and invited our... friend. We had begun to make friends in the area, but really had just one person we spent a lot of time with -- Mike's friend Joe, from law school. So the three of us had a holiday feast together. The following year, we did it again, with a few additional friends and it became a tradition.

When we moved to NYC, it was put on hold for a year, since we were living in a studio apartment with no kitchen to speak of. The last two years, we brought it back and served about 6-8 friends each year, including two friends who had been at the previous dinner and moved from PA to NYC around the same time we did, their significant others, and a few new friends. We held it a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, and it is now known as the Pre-Thanksgiving Feast.

It has become one of my favorite traditions, and I look forward to it months in advance. This year, we held the dinner in October, since our own Turkey is due two days before Thanksgiving! I wanted to be able to enjoy it, without being too uncomfortable or worrying that we'd have to cancel if the baby is early. We went all out this year, invited a lot of people and figured we'd just stuff everyone in, crowd around, and make it work! We ended up with 16 people, and we had such a great time. Good food and good friends made for a wonderful day and I'm so happy about it. Sadly, Mike's friend Joe, who has been at all our feasts except the one in college, and his wife Cassie recently moved to the west coast and weren't there this year. We missed you guys!

I already can't wait for next year when we get to do it again, and share it with our almost-one-year-old!

We were so busy having fun, we forgot almost entirely about the camera, so we have almost no photos. Here are just a couple, including this year's version of the invitation Mike draws every year:


maresi said...

I love it! Mike's belly is getting impressive. I assume most of that was forced out in solidarity. You look fantastic! I can't wait to see what you've been cooking these past months!

"Please come eat me!" cracked me up.

Anonymous said...

Great tradition! Your friends are lucky to have such generous and gracious friends as you and Mike. Keep having fun together! gg

Anonymous said...

Looks like it was great fun! I love the belly shot photo! That will be one to treasure forever! :)

EDH said...

So cool! My best friends from college and I did the pre-Thanksgiving dinner together, too. It's one of the things I miss most about not living near them any more.

Thais said...

holiday FEAST!! one of my favorite colelge memories as well....and we even had table clothes to go over our beer pong table!!! I CANT wait to finally get to a holiday feast agai, next year with the new little one!!

Fizzgig said...

thats an excellent idea. You can get your stomach prepared for all the eating on thanksgiving, a little pre stretching going on!

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