Day 27: A Tradition

holidays, parties

Prompt: A tradition I maintain.

Some traditions are quite hard to maintain as an American in Australia. 4th of July without fireworks is a pretty pointless exercise. North American Christmas is something I gave up on in favor of new traditions more fitted to the summer. But, one tradition we’ve held dear is Thanksgiving.

On the first Thanksgiving we spent together in Florida, Partner-in-Crime told me it was his favorite holiday, and a very special day to him. This was unexpected for me because he did not come to the U.S. until he was 18, so it wasn’t a holiday he grew up with. But, now that I’ve spent a few Thanksgivings away from home, and shared Thanksgiving meals with other non-Americans, I understand why it’s so dear to him. I think when you grow up with a tradition, it can be something you take for granted, not really making an effort to internalize the true meaning of the event. But, experiencing it for the first time as an adult, you have to give some thought as to what it is about. Also, I’ve learned, celebrating in a foreign country means sourcing items or making do, so you start to think about what the essence of the day is, rather than the letter of the tradition-law. Thanksgiving is a holiday that is so pure and wonderful. It’s about giving thanks. It’s about breaking bread with your family and your community. It’s about making space in your life for being welcoming and grateful. What a thing to celebrate.

I have, in my adult life, mostly celebrated “orphans’ Thanksgivings” with a different band of friends each year (I wrote about it here, and, incidentally, it happened to be during my first blog challenge), and our Down Under Thanksgivings have been a continuation on that theme. The first two years were spent at Mimi and Joe’s, their gorgeous Harbour view a constant reminder that we weren’t in Kansas anymore, Toto. Our third year, we dined at my friend N’s with a great group of American, British, and Irish guests. Then, the next week, I cooked an entire Thanksgiving meal for our Unitarian Universalist group, where P-i-C and I gave a little talk about Thanksgiving to the mostly Aussie gathering and served what was the first ever Thanksgiving meal for most of them (the one Canadian member was thrilled about the feast). They were a little puzzled by some of the food, but I think the consensus was highly favorable for the whole experience. For the record, I was 7 months pregnant and cooked that whole meal on a day when it was 95 degrees outside. Thanksgiving dedication!

Last Thanksgiving, P-i-C and I bit the bullet and finally hosted for the first time. We had about 20 guests, covering 5 nationalities. One of our friends served up latkes for appetizers, as one of the days of Hanukkah fell on Thanksgiving this year. It was an honor to be able to open up our home to people dear to us and share wonderful company and delicious food (it was potluck – I’m not bragging on my own cooking!). Putting in the work to make a day like that come together makes you put real thought into the importance of the day, and there was no doubt that Thanksgiving is something special that we’ll continue to ensure is part of our lives every year. More than ever, I appreciate the beauty of the day and the richness of the celebration.tgiving

The Instagram masterpiece our friend G made on the occasion of our Thanksgiving party last year, a special day to be sure.

 

2 thoughts on “Day 27: A Tradition

  1. Samantha H

    Great choice! Love Thanksgiving & your bbq turkey was delicious – so go ahead and brag about your own food! Lol. I love this instagram collage G made – she always does the best collages!

  2. Yvette Niesel

    I love Thanksgiving, too. We tried to do the cooking last year, but it fell miserably short. In part to the fact that some of us (not mentioning any names here) refuse to move the cheese and make do! LOL

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