Thursday, November 8, 2007

Thanksgiving is on its way...

although here in Canada, it's already been and gone. So I thought this would be a good time for me to talk about Thanksgiving, sort of halfway between the two holidays.


And I thought I'd talk about Thanksgiving traditions - or maybe more the lack thereof. Thanksgiving isn't as big a deal in Canada as it is in the U.S. and it's not celebrated at all in England (except by ex-pats, I suspect) where my mom and her family grew up and lived until moving to Canada after the war. So Thanksgiving has always been an odd kind of holiday for me.


My dad's family celebrated Thanksgiving but without any kind of fanfare and once my mom and dad split up when I was 12, it went even more on the back burner.


But I like to celebrate it myself. I love the food, I love the concept, I love the party of it. Because every year I have something to be thankful for - many things, in fact. And so Thanksgiving is a way for me to share that thankfulness with my family and friends. I often call both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners my "orphan" dinners, inviting everyone I know who doesn't have family in town, which means that it can be any number from 4 to 14 in my tiny tiny apartment.


I do the traditional dinner - turkey, my dad's stuffing, four or five vegetables, pumpkin pie, plenty of wine and beer. I absolutely LOVE the smell of turkey cooking. My shopping expedition always includes two or three packages of those aluminum takeout containers because I always cook a turkey that's more than slightly too big for the crowd and I really really don't like leftover turkey. I do, however, love all the other leftovers and I eat them for breakfast - the pumpkin pie - lunch - sandwiches with dressing and cranberry sauce in them - and dinner - veg, plenty of mashed potatoes, stuffing.


If the crowd is bigger than 4, I have to rearrange my entire apartment. I have to move many things (furniture, TV, books, small tables) into the bathtub or onto the balcony. I have to pull out my IKEA table and chairs from the very back of the closet and under the bed. I have to move all the furniture in the living to the walls, while managing to leave a tiny space for people to get in. But it's worth every minute of it...


What are your traditions? Where did they come from? What new ones have you added?


Kate

15 comments:

Nathalie said...

Thanksgiving... no major tradition other than a nice meal :)

Susan said...

The only real tradition we have is watching the parades together. lol

ChristyJan said...

Since the time I was a little girl until the time my Grandparents passed away, we would go to their house for Thanksgiving. My Mother is an only child, so it would be a small gathering with Grandma, Grandpa, Mom, Dad, my three sisters and myself. The food was traditional and delicous. After dinner we would play games all afternoon until super time when we would re-heat the leftovers.

Virginia said...

Thanksgiving, tradition for us means turkey, home made dumplings, dressing, mashed patatoes gravy, deviled eggs, pecan pie. You name it we have it. We love to eat.

squiresj said...

Thanksgiving used to be a big tradition until the past two years when my oldest daughter's husband refused to come to our house anymore. They are now in midst of a divorce and moved 11 hours away so no big deal this year. My youngest daughter and her husband will come over and Friday and my husband will cook a big meal but my youngest would be happy with lasagana. It is a time to be with family. I cannot cook it this year as I am recovering from an ankle fusion so both Thanksgiving and Christmas will be bleak and probably Easter as well as it will be May before I am through this.
It's a time of being thankful that at least for now I can bear weight on the ankle.

Virginia said...

We go to my hubbies parents house for dinner and we all bring a dish. For me its Banana pudding my father in laws favorite. Then I cook a dinner for my sister's birthday the next weekend.

Nathalie said...

Thanksgiving was last month and we did not do anything special!

Lily said...

I am not North American and Thanksgiving does not really exist!

tam said...

No tradition here, we sometimes go out to eat and others we will fix a meal at home.

Kimberly L said...

The only tradition we have is that all the girls get together at moms and help out with the cooking and planning. Then we all sit around visiting and talking. I love the holidays.

ruth said...

My daughters and I cook up a storm. One is a chef who loves to experiment and we enjoy the festive meal.

diane said...

Since we have a large crowd, family from out of town and in town we make up two turkeys and a ton of wonderful sides. Non stopmeals for 4 days.

ellie said...

We have a special meal with friends. The cook is an expert so we love this holiday.

sabrina said...

Our entire family prepares this wonderful meal. I get to do the major work and my mom is the sous chef while my sister helps as well. A delectable meal for all of us to enjoy.

pearl said...

Seeing friends and enjoying great treats, a wonderful meal and a memorable day.