My no-gift Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving by design is a gift-free holiday, and compared to Christmas it’s far superior. Why can’t we make Christmas more like Thanksgiving?

I stayed local this year, celebrating Thanksgiving with my in-laws. I made a vegan roast and vegan chocolate cream pie to share. We brought our copy of ‘Taskmaster’ to play parlor games. One task was to fill your hat with items that only begin with H, A, or T. Most items win. It’s more challenging than it sounds!

The final task was ‘Write down the best idea. You have 3 minutes’, as judged by the Taskmaster (played by my husband). My adorable 7 year old niece wrote ‘no virus’ for her idea. Another niece played to the Taskmaster’s love of cats and wrote ‘give all homeless cats rainboots so their paws don’t get wet’. She won that round.

We also did more traditional things like play board games and watch TV. My favorite part was that we all shared our art with one another. My nieces make bespoke lamps, do animation, and one is going to school for special effects make-up. My husband and I did a screening of our short film “No Christmas This Year”, a French existentialist film about Christmas and COVID, which includes an anti-consumerism message.

It was genuinely a lot of fun, and no gifts were exchanged. We already have a framework and precedent for how to celebrate with family and friends without gifts. It’s fun, easy to do, and better for the environment. I hope you’ll consider ditching the gifts for a Buy Nothing Christmas this year.

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