Every November, Americans come together to celebrate the displacement and destruction of a people and their culture…or something like that. Gotta love our ability to look on the bright side, though. Yes, we stole your land, but we’re so grateful for it! Thanks!
Not ones to miss out on snacks and fun, the Urchins will be partaking in our families’ Thanksgiving traditions whilst in America. Here’s a little peek into what tricks and treats (oops, wrong holiday) the Jost, Ong, and Hedderman families have in store this year:
Tomorrow morning, my amazing Sprint Triathlete mother is making me participate in a ‘Turkey Trot’ at some ungodly hour (read: before 8am) in 3 degrees Celsius weather. 3! Unless this involves me watching turkeys prance about through the window of somewhere warm, I will have icicle tears of anguish dangling from my sleep deprived eyes. At noon, you will find me at my Aunt’s house giggling and squealing hysterically at the National Dog Show. Highlight: the Pekingese. Magical floating dog or mop? Who can say! After losing a word search contest to my entire family (How is this possible? Every year! I say make it a crossword puzzle and it’s on) and eating dinner, I’ll be off to see my bffs for our annual leftovers and catching up get-together. Begun in 1998 and missed only once during my expat Thanksgiving of 2008, this is one of my most anticipated and loved activities of the holiday season. Thanksgiving is boss because I know I’ll be home again soon for Christmas, so it’s not as hard to say goodbye.
Thanksgiving tradition generally revolves around family, and this is no different in my family, all 100+ members of it. Countless Filipinos cram into the walls of a single Southern California household. Scents waft from both the kitchen and the outdoor BBQ. My specialised vegan food is uncovered and set up on its own little table. Attached to the pumpkin pie is a sign I scrawled in festive orange and brown magic markers: ‘WARNING: Vegan pumpkin pie! Probably gross! Don’t eat!’ (It works every time.) Aside from eating food, the rest of the day is spent catching up with relatives, making countless cups of coffee, and eating food.
Thanksgiving is one of those holidays my family feels obligated to celebrate, but never really knows how to. Our lovely family tradition is shouting for about a week before Thanksgiving about what we’re going to eat. My stance is usually, ‘Let’s try something different! Cornish game hens with sauteed seasonal vegetables!’ My mother shouts at everyone else shouting and says we are just going to eat a vat of dressing. My dad gets pissed off, says he doesn’t care anymore and it’s a stupid holiday to begin with. Just about the only thing we agree on is dessert. Oh, and what desserts there will be. Pecan pie. Apple pie. Chocolate chip cookies. Coconut pound cake with chocolate sauce. After inhaling the feast in fifteen minutes, we then gather around the wood burning stove and collapse into a family food coma.
What are your Thanksgiving traditions?