21 Nov

I’m watching everyone on Facebook scurry about as they ask how to cook a turkey so it tastes good, if they’re having ham, what in the world were they thinking when they thought to go to the grocery store the day before a holiday???

And then there’s me.  Sitting here.  Calmly drinking my coffee.

There is no Thanksgiving in Ireland, obviously.  (If it is not obvious to you and you’re a born and bred American citizen, for God’s sake, go back to the second grade and start over!)  Since there’s no Thanksgiving, there’s also no Black Friday sales.  Which means the television isn’t screaming at me to get ready to eat, get ready to shop!

If it wasn’t for Facebook, I would have probably not realized Thanksgiving was this week.

I’ll be honest – I’m kind of okay with skipping this holiday.  We’ve never made a huge production of it.  Growing up, my family had the traditional meal with the good china and my grandparents would produce pies from Baker’s Square (pumpkin, apple and lemon meringue).  My brothers and I would harass each other over who got a drumstick, take slices of canned-shaped cranberry sauce, and pretend ginger ale was champagne.

You know, the usual Thanksgiving stuff.

Eventually I went off to college, spent Thanksgiving with other families, got married, had a baby, and moved by all my in-laws.  Josh and I looked at each other with a “So…uh…now what?”  We were invited to different places, but the one that stuck with us was tagging along with his aunt and uncle and their kids to a state park, where you could have a turkey dinner in the lodge then hike down to the waterfall, hike back, then sit in front of a big fireplace as children ran amok until they fell over and babies dozed on shoulders of adults.

I miss those days.  And not just because my boys were little guys in overalls, riding in backpack carriers, stopping to collect leaves along the way…

But we moved from there to Michigan and once again found ourselves on Thanksgiving going “ what?”  The one year, we went to my mom’s, which could have been nice, was nice, until tiny but very mobile 16 month old Miriam fell from the upstairs to the downstairs.  We found out that she was tiny enough to fit between a 5 inch gap in the upstairs railings, and that my grandfather’s saying of “Babies and drunks always survive accidents unharmed” was true.  She fell 10 feet down, bounced off a step, landed on ceramic tile and had nothing to show for it but a bump on the head and three CT scans at the ER.

After that we stuck closer to home, and I’d make the traditional meal.  But to be honest?  I don’t love turkey.  Collin hates turkey.  So we’d make a ham, then a turkey the next day when they were all on sale, so that those who didn’t want turkey could eat leftover ham, and those who like turkey could have that.

Last year was our first year in this Thanksgivingless country, and we were invited to another American household that weekend to have a Thanksgiving meal.  Which was great – good company, I didn’t have to cook everything, there was pie.  Pie is good.

Which leads to this year.

And a bit of apathy towards the holiday.

It’s funny – this Thanksgiving, I’m thankful to not have to cook a big meal.  But I’m getting an urge to walk to a waterfall.  We could do that this weekend.  There’s one nearby.  But there will be no carrying kids on our backs.  If anything, the boys could start giving us the piggy back rides!


8 Responses to “Thanksgiving”

  1. lifelibertyeducation November 21, 2012 at 11:11 am #

    After nine years in the UK I am feeling rather indifferent to Thanksgiving as well. Perhaps because I see very little thanksgiving happening. I am also thankful for not cooking a bit dinner as we are going out for our meal. I am even more thankful to not be doing the dishes after that meal as well.

    • Marianne Trana November 22, 2012 at 9:06 pm #


  2. Candes November 21, 2012 at 11:25 am #

    Pheobe, I have to admit that I sort of envy you this weekend. I have a large generational family in the home, and many more family members who don’t live here who return to the nest for holidays. I love my big family, but sometimes I’m tired and just want to sleep… like this weekend. For us, holidays can be a lot of fun, but it would be nice if we didn’t have so many large ones so close together. We’re trying to keep it low key this year because our autistic daughter just started her transitional education and she gets overwhelmed easily. But, it’s a large family, with 3 generations under one roof, so even without hosting the big dinner for the extended family (like we normally do), Thanksgiving is still a big production.

    Right now, a walk to a waterfall sounds really nice!! Instead I will walk to the kitchen and get the pies started for tomorrow. lol

  3. Alzbeta November 21, 2012 at 11:29 am #

    Walking to a waterfall sounds perfect! You’re with your loves, doing something you all love :).

  4. Suzanne Barrow November 21, 2012 at 11:55 am #

    Like lifelibertyeducation up there, I’ve been in the Thanksgiving-less UK for 9 years (well, 9.5) too.

    The first couple of years I attempted to celebrate it anyway, in our own way, but even the kid that had specifically asked for it seemed to not give a toss. So I stopped bothering.

    I do kind of miss Thanksgiving, but to be perfectly honest, what I’m really missing are the Thanksgivings of my childhood. I grew up in a fairly large family – not all sisters and brothers, but aunts, uncles, great-aunts, great-uncles, second cousins, etc. (And we did holidays pot-luck style, where everybody brought something, so it wasn’t all up to one person to cook the entire meal. I really like that way of party-planning.) Our house would be packed on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I absolutely loved it. Some family I didn’t see any other time BUT those holidays, and I actually looked forward to getting to spend time with them.

    But a lot of those people are deceased now, and the ones that are still alive, don’t even live in the same area anymore. Even if we’d never left the US, Thanksgiving as I remember it wouldn’t happen anymore. It’d just be the husband and myself and our kids, just like any other day.

    You know, just like it is here. >.>

  5. Jessica November 21, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    You can have just a regular dinner, sans turkey and the regular thanksgiving-stuff. Just toss a chicken or whatever in the oven and have a nice dinner.
    I spent a thanksgiving in the US and was invited to one. It never really took with me but I didn’t grow up with the tradition either. I like celebrating stuff, I’m just not into the whole traditional stuff. Not for christmas or anything else. All I’m really into is easter but that’s more because it’s spring and everything is starting to grow rather than the religious aspect.

  6. Marianne Trana November 22, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

    I feel ya. I have always hated obligatory events. My hubby n I got out of Thanksgiving this year and I wasn’t sad about it. I hope not celebrating this holiday will become our new tradition. I love what u said about hiking to the waterfall. That’s a great memory. I hope you get your waterfall walk in this week! ps glad you got a rejuvenating weekend away! You deserve it! Take care!

  7. lalx11 November 23, 2012 at 11:36 am #

    Have a picnic! At the waterfall.. Ploughman’s demi baguettes, flasks of soup&coffee; &choc/almond croissants?? many blankets ~ it’s gonna be sunny but COLD!!!

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