500 Words At A Time: Holiday II: Thanksgiving

My favorite holiday is upon us. I love Thanksgiving. We have an annual Thanksgiving dinner where we used to invite everyone we know who hasn’t already told us that they have plans. However, since arriving here the number of people we invite has gotten progressively smaller as has the size of our dinner.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it is a good time for reflection and breaking bread with people who are important to you. As a family, we like to reflect upon the past year, what did we do, what could we have done differently, and most importantly what are we thankful for. The kids make lists and from time to time I write a list of what I am thankful for, which I may do as there is still time.

Breaking bread, especially over a large homemade meal, is a big deal to me; a sign that I hope that you will be around for a long time. Not saying that is how it works out, but that is the hope. Prior to moving here our Thanksgiving diners varied in size, but there was one or two people who accepted the invite or showed up later in the evening for desert and leftovers. Here, that has not happened. There aren’t too many people to invite over to share in the feast. Not that we haven’t made friends, but if they are students they go home and if they are professors they have lives or travel to their lives. The campus becomes a ghost town, a half-summer if you will, which is nice for getting around. In the end though, we are visitors to this land, as such our connections are fewer than previous years. This has affected the size of our feast.

Thanksgiving used to mean a giant bird and tons of sides. People would leave with leftovers and we would still have plenty. Now Thanksgiving has shrunk to a small bird and a few sides. There are leftovers, just not as much. The change in the amount of food has had an odd effect; Barb likes having to cook less, but at the same time she wants to cook the whole feast; with less food the kids do not have to try as much, thus the incidents of “this is icky” have disappeared; and finally, we were used to having a large feast, having a smaller, but focused feast feels off to us. Unfortunately, the immediate future looks to be the same as when we leave here we will once again be in a new (ish) place.

In spite of the changes, less people over and smaller amounts of food, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I don’t have to cook. I get to spend time with Barb and the kids for a couple of day. We play a lot of games together. There is plenty of great food to eat. A time for reflection, but not in that melancholy way that some holidays bring out. No need to travel. Getting our annual middle finger on Black Friday is fun.

 

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