This is the time of year where we revel in tradition, participating in rituals and using language that takes us "home for the holidays" whether we're physically traveling or not.

But it's also a time to examine those traditions, looking at the language we use to name them, to change them, and to play with them. Here, we take you through a selection of Thanksgiving-related resources on that track the holiday, starting with recipe selection, and moving onto cooking, the meal, the post-meal coma, and the holiday shopping season that starts up as soon as Thanksgiving ends.

The Prep. For many amateur cooks, Thanksgiving is a time of terror. Gird yourself here.

The Meal: What to eat. What not to eat.

  • Some "Cherpumple" for Thanksgiving? — Nancy Friedman reports on recently coined food-manteaus, including one for a dessert comprised of cherry, pumpkin, and apple pies, each baked inside a layer of cake. (And yes, there's a flambé version.)

Sources for Innocuous Small Talk: Save the family drama for Christmas.

Post Meal: If you're conscious, chances are someone's trying to talk to you about why you feel so sleepy. This leads to the age-old question:

The Morning After: Are you shopping or staying home? Either way, read Ben Zimmer on the origins of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and even Cyber Week.