I’m just not that into you.
Yes, I realize you already get the shaft since Santa and all things Christmas and pop up everywhere the minute the last piece of Halloween candy has been swiped from the bottom of the candy bucket, and radio stations are playing their holiday loops before I’ve even put together a Turkey-filled grocery list.
But here’s the thing. Coming from a mixed heritage family – American dad, Chilean mom – Thanksgiving was always treated as a nice chance for just us and the grandparents to get together, nosh and wear big pants with stretchy waistbands. You know, like a regular Sunday dinner, but bigger. Nothing more. Chile doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving (obviously), since last I checked, the Pilgrims didn’t include any empanadas or pastel de choclo in their feastiness.
We never made a big deal out of observing it, and, since my dad didn’t want my mom to feel left out, we focused more on Christmas – a tradition everyone in the family had in common and could celebrate together with gusto.
Now that I have my own family, it’s still not a big deal. My husband also comes from a mixed heritage family – American dad, British mother – so again, all things Mayflower and cranberry sauce are eh.
But then my kindergarten Gibblet started bringing home construction paper turkeys and carefully handwritten lists with ginormous capital letters spelling out what he’s thankful for, and I decided to forge a new family tradition in honor of his eagerness to participate in all things Thanksgivingy.
This year, we will occupy Thanksgiving.
Yep. A whole turkey-and-trimmings to do, complete with pies and placecards and all the wonderful smells that remind you why the whole shebang went down so well the first time, historically speaking. We’ll leave all the negatives like taking away the Native Americans’ land out til he’s older.
Someone should stand up for the noble turkey and a holiday that if you think about it, is such a lovely precursor to all the gift-giving madness that seems to be part and parcel of Christmas.
This year, we will go around the table and read aloud what we’re thankful for – Gibbs wants us each to write one thing on a notecard at the table – and talk about the blessings we do have.
We’ll slow down and enjoy each other’s company, laugh at whose pants are the stretchiest, and just bask in tryptophan-fueled glory of the day.
Occupy Thanksgiving. Something new to be thankful for.