(Editor's note: David's original column ran last week; here, we're running it again in a slightly re-shuffled format.)
If a big turkey dinner isn’t in the cards this year, fear not! Seek out one of these spots, make your reservation, and find something to be thankful for. It’s the holiday season.
Cross Culture of Haddonfield is hosting a three-course Thanksgiving dinner from noon to 5 p.m. for $15.95 per person. The food will be traditional Indian food, but it will also be delicious. In a lot of ways, that captures some of the spirit of the first Thanksgiving.
Cross Culture is located at 208 Kings Highway East in Haddonfield; 856-428-4343.
This new favorite of mine is also open from noon until 2:30 p.m., and will be serving its usual buffet and a la carte menu.
Indiya is located at 612 Haddon Ave., Collingswood; 856-858-0020.
Indian cuisine isn’t the only thing available on Thanksgiving. Japanese restaurant Fuji in Haddonfield is open with its regular menu from 3 to 7 p.m.
Fuji is located at 116 Kings Highway East, Haddonfield; 856-354-8200.
Another one of my favorite local restaurants, Fusion Bay of Collingswood is open today from 2 to 8 p.m.
Fusion Bay is located at 655 Haddon Ave., Collingswood; 856-858-0885.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
When you ask a person what his or her favorite holiday is, you’ll hear a lot of the same answers.
Christmas is at the top of most people's lists. It’s more a season than a holiday; one that’s stretched over many weeks of music, decorations, lights and shopping. There are ugly sweater parties to attend, cookies to bake, Christmas specials to watch; a whole season of holiday grandeur culminating in a celebration of presents, eggnog and, of course, loved ones.
Christmas evolves as we get older, as well. To most of us, as children, Christmas usually revolves around a mysterious fat guy in a red suit dropping off a smorgasbord of toys and games, followed by a week off from school.
As we mature, the essence of Christmas shifts to encompass more emotional significance. We realize the gifts symbolize the joy of giving rather than receiving, of putting a smile on someone’s face because you care about them and want to make them happy. To me, that’s what Christmas truly represents.
Another popular answer to the favorite holiday question just recently passed. For those of us who love a good scare, not to mention piles of candy, there’s nothing quite like Halloween.
Halloween is in many ways a leaf from the same tree as Christmas. Halloween celebrates the dark and macabre of the human spirit, and in the weeks leading up to Oct. 31, we indulge in haunted houses, scary movies, jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin-flavored-everything.
Like Christmas, Halloween doubles as a seasonal celebration, and culminates in ceremonies that change substantially as we grow older.
The third answer I hear quite often for favorite holiday—at least for those not tacky enough to list their birthday—is Thanksgiving. Fifteen years ago, I would have disagreed. I used to hate Thanksgiving. I was a picky eater; I was stuck at the kids’ table; I couldn’t hang out with my friends. It was boring.
I didn’t watch football, I didn’t drink wine, I didn’t do anything. Thanksgiving, to me, was a colossal waste of a day off from school. It’s funny, though, how we change as we get older. Everything I used to hate about Thanksgiving now falls squarely in my “favorite things” category, and Thanksgiving has managed to nose its way into my Official Top Three Favorite Holidays list.
- I’m going to begin posting upcoming bar specials and events in this spot, so if you want know about something happening and you want it posted, let me know!
- Follow me on twitter, @davevaliante!