Americans love Thanksgiving. When I was first in the US, it was easy to feel that it was a very special time. For my American non-Catholic husband, Thanksgiving is a much more important holiday than Christmas.
This was my fourth Thanksgiving holiday in the USA, I have already celebrated this holiday twice in Poland. Once I took Dean to an American restaurant in Warsaw. He was positively surprised by the quality of the dishes and the atmosphere: American football was of course aired.
Despite the small, but yet some experience, I always feel strange when there is no Christmas tree at in the corner of the festive room. During the evening, I’m waiting for the gifts, but they never come. Somehow I can’t get used to it. It seems strange that there will be more holiday coming . I heard about the history of American-Spanish couple with a newborn, who did not manage to attend family Thanksgiving. For the Spanish woman it was not a problem. She could have sat on the couch, and she would not miss anything. For the American it was a tragedy. Despite the odds, he needed to to cook something (in the end he managed to make ribs) and to sit together at table. I’m somewhere in the middle of these two approaches.
Just like last year, we spent Thanksgiving with our friends in Berkeley. We had a delicious pumpkin soup, turkey with stuffing, gravy sauce, baked potatoes, brussels sprouts. Before the meal we all held hands and thanked for our blessings. Guests of Tibetan, Spanish, Jewish, Palestinian, and Polish descent shared a meal under an American roof. There was a Palestinian dessert and a Tibetan song of thanks. After meals, the kids, who were all Polish learners, watched a story about Bolek and Lolek.
Our friendly hosts told me that they like the modern “non-religious” message of the holiday and the lack of drama related to finding gifts. Madness always comes with sales of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. We were seduced by an offer of DNA testing – discover your ancestors (I’ll write soon about the results) and some kitchen gadgets (hooray, I will finally cook rice by myself, without Dean’s help.
In San Francisco and the Bay Area there are a lot of immigrants, probably from all over the world. I often wonder and observe how they adapt to the American lifestyle. Thanksgiving, a truly American tradition, gathers families from around the world once a year, regardless of their religion or origin.