Thinking that once you move away from the states, you wouldn’t get asked what you were planning to do on this holiday. Guess again. I’ve been asked several time how I planned on celebrating Thanksgiving and whether my family (the Burs) had ever experienced the decadence of marking a holiday that ultimately ruined the placement of Native Americans in society.
Thing is, I’ve never liked this holiday. As a kid, we had massive sized family dinners that were great. I was a kid who loved her family and with my mom having five siblings and over twenty nieces and nephews, the house was usually the holiday promised land. But as a kid I also liked Kool-Aid and malted chocolate – I eventually grew out of it. As an adult, on my own terms, I typically ignored it. When I worked retail, I detested it. And now that I live over seas, I’d love to simple pretend it doesn’t exist*.
First, there was the mention of the forth coming holiday on a US TV program the lil one watches. She’s taken to this American show which has done it’s fair share of educating her on loads of things she has no reason to know exist like: sweet sixteens, girl scouts and apparently Thanksgiving. Upon hearing that the holiday centered around food, she began to ask if we could invite folk over to celebrate and what the menu would be consisted of. With the mention of sweet potatoes with marshmallows – she went team turkey day all the way!
If she’d gotten a better non-biological mom she’d be getting ready to sit in front of a turkey right now. Instead, she’ll be having a lovely stir-fry.
Now, I tried to delve deep down and find the enthusiasm. Once when I asked my mom why she, as an immigrant, celebrated Thanksgiving – she told me she had no choice. Since the schools did such an amazing job inundating her kids about the importance of the holiday. As soon as Halloween past, we’d start asking about Thanksgiving. Instead of fighting it, she went whole hog into the festivities. To which, I have amazing memories from those dinners growing up and thought that Lil Burs should have some of those too.
So earlier this month, I began to think of how to make a dinner involving turkey in a one oven apartment. And what would accompany said turkey. And whom else should be invited. Then thanks to the busy nature of life, I moved on and it got pushed into the far recesses of my mind. Until last week, when I asked a friend and fellow expat Butler, to help me make a final decision on a wedding dress. In between shops, she recited her Thanksgiving menu to me. Then asked ‘so what are you guys doing?’
So I began to create plans: yup, I’ll make dinner just for us. It’ll be fun! When I got home and told Burs, he said ‘whatever you want to do but I thought you didn’t like the holiday.’ From far off, Lil Burs could be heard asking more questions about said dinner and on ‘what day’ does this happen?
So once again, I tried to think like an American and plan. Even went to two butchers to see what a dead turkey costs these days. The answer – a lot – when it’s coming from a local butcher. Then I found small ones at Sainsbury for £4 and thought that I could do. But I didn’t buy it. Just sat on the knowledge that there were turkeys not too far away nor were they expensive.
The days have ticked by before the eve of this most blessed of holidays (please read that with sarcasm) was here. Butler called to tell me about her pumpkin pie making experience and asked ‘if I was making any.’ Nope. Once again, I explained how I’m just not that into it and was letting it pass by. She then extended invitations for left overs on Saturday. Which we can’t make due to the lil ones sewing classes. The invite changed to Friday.
The idea of me not having turkey was an idea that Butler couldn’t live with.
Why am I not that American? So I buckled and went out and brought the small turkey like a good little devote person should (even if it’s without the least bit of excitement) and planned on doing some mac & cheese, mash potatoes and green beans. We’ll have Thanksgiving!!!
It is now 6.45pm and that turkey is still nicely wrapped in the fridge. Instead, our Thanksgiving dinner will be fish with risotto or maybe a stir-fry. Over which I’ll quietly give thanks for this wonderful life I have. And rejoice in the fact that I live in a country that hasn’t badgered me into the deep seeded need to be thankful on this last Thursday of the month.
But for all of you who do love it, then I wish you a lovely day! And know that our turkey will be just as good when we have it on Sunday.
*the only reason to have Thanksgiving was to have it be a marker for the start of the Christmas season. But since stores and commercials begin right after Halloween now, there’s even less of a reason for it to be around. Though I’m all for getting our tree this weekend, to launch the start of the greatest holiday ever created!!!*