As I sit here in the quietness of the morning, I am thinking about how Thanksgiving has changed for me over time. As an Australian, I had heard about the American Thanksgiving and got my idea of what it was from the television shows that I had seen. Ten years ago, I was introduced to my first Thanksgiving in America. It was not quite the same as what the idiot box had shown me. In some cases, it was better, and in other ways it was quite underwhelming.
I had seen, from a distance, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and thought how fun it would be to watching this in the streets of New York, but then I realized it was quite cold up there and maybe it wasn’t a great idea after all. Standing in the cold, with thousands of others, craning my neck to get a glimpse of something (most somethings I would have no clue about). Instead, we watched it on television and I got to see the parade close, but not personal.
Over the last ten years, the way we celebrate Thanksgiving has changed. Since those early days, Chris’s parents have moved back to Texas, and we now spend each Thanksgiving at their home in East Texas. The ritual is normally the same. We arrive the night before (normally), and spend the evening catching up, watching the dogs go full-force around the property, and then snacking on some ham that was cooked earlier in the day. Thanksgiving Day is spent watching Chris’s mom prepare all the sides for the main meal, while his dad cooks the turkey. Then we eat and then we collapse.
This year is the first year that I’ve really thought about what Thanksgiving means to me. It doesn’t have a lot of the same meaning that many Americans have – though I would suggest that many Americans don’t celebrate the holiday with any idea of what the holiday is about, apart from a day off work, and the day before all the crazy sales start for the Christmas season.
For me, Thanksgiving has become about being with my family (Chris and the boys), and having some down time to relax, reboot and re-energize. I don’t share the same history of the holiday as Chris does, but I’ve come to realize that each holiday that we celebrate has become something that has been defined by the time that we spend together with family and friends.
So for those that celebrated the holiday, I hope it was a good time for you, and you had time to spend time with some of the ones that you love.