Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks

A Thanksgiving Tradition: When we were kids, my aunt and mother alternated Thanksgiving so we were always moving around, and I think that's been true of all my Thanksgivings--alternating for the first 22 years, spending a year in NYC (cooking my "Christmas bonus turkey" for my roommate and a coworker), having a variety of experiences in Los Angeles--going to friends' parents' homes, friends' apartments--for sit downs and buffet-style potlucks--and hosting our own. And one year I went to Toronto to do research for my dissertation. Then we started having Thanksgiving with my cousin. Last year, we went back to my childhood home for the last holiday meal before my parents sold it. So it seems like things are never quite the same, but there's always broccoli casserole (broccoli whizzed in the blender and baked in a cheese sauce).

A Thanksgiving Memory: One year, the dude's group--which included people from England, India, New Zealand, the former Yugoslavia, Wales, and Colombia--planned a Thanksgiving. One of the organizers wanted to sell tickets so that everyone spent the same amount. (Commie.) The dude's roomie--the only other American woman--and I protested vigorously. It took a while, but we finally made everyone understand why you wouldn't sell tickets to Thanksgiving dinner. So we figured out how much the turkey bringer was spending ($6, with discounts and coupons) so everyone had to bring $6 worth of food. That made for A LOT of mashed potatoes. The ticket-guy was bringing the soup, and showed up late with frozen soup. After we had a lukewarm dinner sitting in whatever chair we could find, he insisted on reading poetry. (He was pretty bossy about an American holiday for a guy from England--you know, the place we were giving thanks we didn't live in anymore.) He read a poem, a true poem of thanksgiving (not a lot of the crap you get when you google "thanksgiving poem") that was so moving I actually cried. I had to forgive him. Still, that was the last Thanksgiving with him.

Five Things You are Thankful for (aside from friends, family and health or the obvious).
1. Stella. She gets me out of the house, makes me exercise more, and when we're driving to the dog park and she puts her head on my shoulder from the backseat, I totally melt. Also, she is teaching me a bit about patience. And as the nights get colder, she's a warm snuggle.
2. My library. You know I love it so much I joined the board of the Friends, and what would any of us do without my Friday stitch-ins with the old ladies?
3. My bed. When I go away, I'm always so happy to come home to the cloud-like Tempurpedic with Tempurpedic pillows and new microfiber fleece sheets. I love going to bed every night, and I sleep the sleep of the just. (Don't tell anyone, but I don't deserve that.)
4. Our shared hobby, needlework. I wouldn't want to try to live without it: the way the rhythmic stitches bring calm to my day, the feeling of having created something, all these "cheap" Christmas gifts I am getting out of it. It's a good thing.
5. The internet. It brings us together, need I say more?

Happy Thanksgiving!

And if you don't celebrate, why not? Just find a country you are happy not to live in, gather friends and family, load up your plate with food, and gorge! (Sorry, you won't be able to get your stores to open at 3 am and give you outrageous deals, but as far as I am concerned, that whole aspect of the "holiday" is disgusting. And I refuse to shop until Saturday at the earliest, but only if I actually need something. Harumph.)


Alice said...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Laura said...

I love this post! So interesting! Love your description of Stella making you melt. And totally agree with the bed and needlework!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving! dd

Best Pal said...

Happy Thanksgiving! What was the poem - asks the reference person...

Glenna said...

Happy Thanksgiving! Funny--we got a new Tempurpedic also (w/pillows). I can't decide which I prefer (BF prefers the tempurpedic), so we have become sleep nomads, sometimes sleeping in one bedroom, sometimes the other. Fleece sheets sound wonderful!

Paisley said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Anna! So you remember what the poem was?