This year, the first day of Hanukkah coincides with Thanksgiving Day. Amazingly, this is the
first second time it's happened since President Lincoln established Thanksgiving in 1863 and it is also the last time it'll happen until the year 79,811. I'll say that again: after this year, Hanukkah and Thanksgiving Day won't overlap for another 77,798 years.
The reason is because the Jewish calendar is very slowly getting out of sync with the solar calendar, at a rate of 4 days per 1000 years (not bad for a many centuries old calendar!) This means that while presently Hanukkah can be as early as 11/28, over the years the calendar will drift forward, such that the earliest Hanukkah can be is 11/29. The last time Hanukkah falls on 11/28 is 2146 (which happens to be a Monday).
Update: As noted above, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah overlapped once before, in 1888, because Thanksgiving used to fall on the last Thursday in November and not the fourth Thursday.
J. Kenji López-Alt does a long Thanksgiving Q&A on Serious Eats answering all those questions you'll be babbling in your kitchen around 2 pm this Thursday.
He addresses classic conundrums:
If turkey is roasted well in advance of guests arriving, or there is a delay, what's the best way to re-heat? To what temperature?
If tented with foil and left in a warm place, a turkey should stay warm for at least a couple hours--at least internally. The real danger is the skin getting soggy and the surfaces getting cold. The best way to fix this? Just pop it in a 550°F oven for 7 to 15 minutes until the skin is crisp and piping hot again. The rest should take care of itself.
As well as more contemporary considerations:
I have a vegan cousin coming to visit this year. Could you suggest any vegan dishes that I could serve that the rest of the family would be able to enjoy as well?
I really love my Vegan Chili made with real dried chilies and chickpeas, and I'd serve a vegan marinated kale salad with sumac onions to anyone, regardless of the carnivorosity.
For a more "holiday"-like approach, how about a stuffed delicata squash? You can totally leave off the parmesan from the breadcrumbs and still make out with a fantastic main course.
Check out all of Kenji's answers to 50 different Thanksgiving questions over on Serious Eats.
Also on Serious Eats: the ultimate turducken. I made a turducken for Thanksgiving 3 years ago and, considering how much I manhandled it, it came out more delicious than it had any right to be. Duck fat covers a multitude of sins.
For tomorrow, a turkey stuffing recipe that uses White Castle hamburgers. I'd really like to try this some year, but there's no way my wife would go for it. Come on, it's from scratch! (Well, except for the burgers...)