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Tales of a Post-Grad Nothing

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Some thoughts on Thanksgiving abroad

This year, was the first time I've ever had a Thanksgiving away from my family and it seemed like sitting down to a meal with complete strangers, many of whom had never had a Thanksgiving before was fundamentally wrong. It's faking a real holiday and it reminded me of the time my Mom brought home her first boyfriend after my parents split and we all sat around watching movies and eating pizza as if we belonged there.

I went to our Thanksgiving get-together because the only thing worse than have an artificial holiday is not having one at all. So the boyfriend made a dish and we bought fresh bread and we lugged that dish and fresh bread through a ridiculous number of metro changes. And when we arrived, the house smelled like living, breathing people had made something there. We went through the greetings, the nationality questions, the job explanations, the invitation connections and after moments of talking and listening, we poured drinks and complimented the food and set food and people on every flat surface we could find.

And there was plenty of everything.

I just consumed the place, the people, the air, the life...and we ate and we drank and we laughed and we learned about each other and we shared a part of ourselves. We didn't say a prayer, asking for future blessings. We toasted, to who we are, to everything that brought us here. We celebrated this mock family we had created. We celebrated being together and having each other to celebrate with. It was pure and unpretentious and beautiful.

Everyone spoke. Everyone contributed. Everyone laughed from the belly up. Everyone had crumbs on their face. Everyone put away the dishes. Everyone had pink faces from wine and champagne. Everyone chose to be there out of goodwill and love, not out of obligation. Everyone celebrated because happiness is a good reason to celebrate.

And for the first time in a long time, I felt truly thankful.

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