I’m practicing a lot of restraint in this post. I don’t often brag on America. I tend to speak of my homeland with a cynical outlook and my speech is filtered through a lens of a 20 something’s uncertainty about what is good and right about government, international presence and society. I can tend to be jaded about the US and optimistic about everywhere else. Outside of obviously loving and missing my dear family and lovely friends, there’s not too much that I miss about actually living in the states. BUT, while I am rarely nationalistic or even patriotic, I tend to get really territorial over a few quintessential things that have to do with America and those things are our national holidays.
If it’s July 4th, you better believe I’ll be proudly wearing the American flag scarf that my grandma wore every year till she died. And if Thanksgiving’s the word, then you should probably know that I really, REALLY love Thanksgiving. I can honestly say I don’t really care that it’s a holiday historically entrenched in imperialism. I always have and always will unashamedly love Thanksgiving. Two years ago, I planned on cooking a huge Thanksgiving dinner for me and about 30 of my closest friends. This being my first time cooking a thanksgiving Turkey, turned into a time- management disaster. I ended up having to skip classes and disregard sleep for about two days to cook, all for the sake of Thanksgiving! Call that what you will, I’m just being real, people!
In any case, this love for Thanksgiving made it really difficult for me to get over the fact that we were celebrating Thanksgiving in between Canadian Thanksgiving and American Thanksgiving. I am physically resisting the urge to put quotation marks around the word Canadian. Really though, jokes and hyperboles aside, I really did learn a lot this Thanksgiving, further proving its greatness as a holiday.
This is inevitably about to take a turn for the obligatory yet appropriate “what I’m thankful for” description so just bear with me. I have been privileged in the past to have been able to be near family for just about every Thanksgiving of my life up till now. Last year, when I should have been in Italy during Thanksgiving for study abroad, my beloved Grandmother passed away days before Thanksgiving, compelling me to come home unexpectedly for her funeral.
Although my family’s reunion was extremely tragic, I think the fact that we were still able to celebrate Thanksgiving, even in mourning, added to its place in my heart as a tradition. As much as it breaks my heart to this day to think about the fact that it has been nearly a year since that awfully painful season in life, I equally remember the love and support of my immediate and extended family and also from old friends as well as new ones. Without them, it would have been infinitely more difficult to work through that time and remembering that now, I can only help but feel love.
So despite my previously quasi discriminatory attitude towards the existence of a Canadian Thanksgiving, I can now say that I am glad to have experienced an in-between Thanksgiving. What a blessing it is to be able to come together with new co-workers and friends, Canadian and American, to celebrate such an amazing holiday. Yes, we had raspberry sauce instead of cranberry. Yes, some of us ate with chopsticks. No, we didn’t have my Grandma’s amazing stuffing or weird 1950s style carrot soufflé. We did have Turkey (cooked in a toaster oven), green-bean casserole, rolls with over-priced butter, and we even had pumpkin pie. But more importantly, we had each other and we had Thanksgiving and we had it together, in-between the Canadian and American Thanksgivings.