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?