Posts Tagged ‘American holiday celebrations’

As I was sitting in the local health unit waiting to get my once-every-ten-years tetanus shot, an elderly grandma struck up a conversation, asking what I was doing for Thanksgiving. I told her I really didn’t know, that plans hadn’t been finalized, but I was definitely going to be with family. She then proceeded to tell me that she begins to prepare up to 2 months in advance for the holiday (which, in her mind is even bigger than Christmas). She will be roasting 4 turkeys in 3 ovens the day of, baking 6 cakes tonight, already has the collard greens and string beans cooked and frozen in the freezer, and Wednesday will be spent baking macaronni and several other side items. I told her I didn’t even know anyone who HAD 3 ovens at their house. But she then explained that she has 13 brothers and sisters who are still living (originally there were 19 of them), and they’re almost all coming in with their families to her house. Talk about a major event! Finally, she went on to explain that one of her sisters couldn’t make the actual Thanksgiving day meal, so last Friday one side of the family had a pre-Thanksgiving dinner. But don’t worry about this little old woman working too hard. She only cooked 2 turkeys for that.

In my house, Thanksgiving has always been a nice meal (often topped off with the beginning of Christmas when we roam into the attic and break out the Christmas tree), but never have I experienced such a feast as what this woman cooks EVERY SINGLE YEAR. In fact, the biggest Thanksgiving I’ve ever had was last year in France when practically all of the American and Canadian assistants (plus a few other nationalities) in Annecy got together at someone’s apartment and each brought a dish to share. It was a lot of fun, but it wasn’t like we were all related.

I like Thanksgiving, but really Christmas is the holiday I couldn’t do without. That’s why, even though I haven’t always had a big Thanksgiving meal (like the year I was in Wales), I do always make sure to find and decorate my own little Christmas tree. Twinkle lights and decorations (store-bought or hand-made) required. But I do appreciate learning other people’s perspectives on their favorite holidays and why that is (mine are undoubtedly because some of my most-cherished memories revolve around Christmas).

What’s your favorite holiday, and why?


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