As an adult, the highlight of my Thanksgiving should be pecan pie or spending time with my family. But it’s not.

OK, I love my family. And who doesn’t love pecan pie? But the best part of my Thanksgiving is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.

Thanksgiving is always held at my grandmother’s house for lunch. Early in the morning, my mother and I go over and help my grandmother with the cooking before the rest of our family shows up. My grandmother opens the wine, turns on the television in the kitchen, finds whatever network is showing the parade and then we get to work.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade has always been the soundtrack to our cooking

Thanksgiving mornings at my grandmother’s house are saturated with calories and energy. My grandmother is the epitome of a Southern Belle. Thanksgiving is a major production orchestrated with her supreme creative direction. It’s the food. It’s the tablescape. It’s the intentional choice of china with complementing silverware. There’s a lot to be done before the rest of the family arrives. But we always pull it off by the end of the parade.


It’s organized chaos. The orders to fold napkins a certain way through the napkin rings. The constant multitasking in the kitchen to optimize cooking time. Prepping something while something else is chilling while something else is baking while something else is thawing. The continuous shooing away of my grandfather who needs to check the turkey for possible poison. The wine. The random toasts. The bumping into one another despite the large kitchen floor plan (somehow you always need in the same drawer as someone else at the same time).

And the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade is on at a low hum in the background. Sometimes I stop whatever task I’ve been given and watch a marching band turn a corner with such unanimous precision or catch The Rockettes’ glittery chorus line. It’s still magical to me.

Despite the intense heat of the kitchen and the constant movement of my mother and grandmother, the stress of the kitchen pauses as a giant Hello Kitty floats over the parade commentators. It’s a perfect moment in a very stressful morning.

You need moments like this when cooking or you’ll lose your sanity. I know it’s Thanks Giving, but just take one moment Thanksgiving morning and watch the parade go by.

But don’t take more than that or you’ll burn the rolls.

How-To Videos for a Stress-Free Thanksgiving Morning: