Thursday, November 25, 2010

On Turkey and Cultural Amalgamation

I'll admit it right now, Thanksgiving in November usually feels like a bit of an anticlimax.

Having been raised in Canada Thanksgiving is part of October, the beginning of the month of excess. A 31 day stretch with a tryptophan stupor in the middle and finale of diabetic coma. Then you ususally have Novermber to recuperate before revving up again for Christmas and all that beer that just won't drink itself. 

Now that we live in the States we usually celebrate both thanksgivings because really, there is no better excuse for two turkey dinners in as many months. My mom and dad come for Canadian Thanksgiving in October and my mom spends the entire weekend educating any sales clerk willing to listen about that fact that " yes Canadian's do have Thanksgiving", and " did you know we are celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving", "this bag of potatos is for Canadian Thanksgiving."

And then when we celebrate again during November Seth's mom joins us, having grown up in the States herself she really feels more at home having turkey this month. And usually this second dinner feels like the great anticlimax, like a belated birthday card, or Christmas presents lost in the mail and delivered in July.

But not this year.

This year we had a great time, all crowded into the front room to watch the snow fall, and fall and fall..... we actually watched the Macy's parade on T.V. which believeyoume was the most surreal experience of my life. I felt like a kid on a tv sitcom; who was having a thanksgiving that someone had scripted to follow the classic idealistic American lifestyle as brought to you by Home and Garden magazine. We had dinner at the dining room table with a tablecloth and nice plates and a gravy boat and everything, The kids ate themselves sick and then had pie and whipped cream and ran around like crazy people. It was the idyllic American Thanksgiving... although admittedly we skipped the football.

I suppose the interesting thing about this year was that I feel like my kids are really going to have a very different cultural upbringing than I did. And I am not talking about saying zeeee and zed, or punctuating sentences with eh, or the differences between tourists and taurists (oh yes washingtonians I am onto you; as far as I can figure a taurist is someone who travels that has been born in May?)

But there really are cultural traditions that Seth and I grew up with that my kids will only learn about through collective memory, not firsthand. In Canada you are never fed that bull*%$@ story about the Indians ahem First Nations, and the Pilgrims ahem Pioneers and the great feast. Simply put Thanksgiving is exactly what it says it is; giving thanks for the bounty of food put before you and hoping like hell you aren't starving and freezing by January. Well I am thankful, and I hope I am not freezing in January.

I guess the best part is that we can do both, we can have two days for giving thanks and be extra thankful and extra full at the same time. I am thankful for my girls who make me wonder everyday if I can be big enough, strong enough, smart enough, gentle enough and humble enough to raise them. For Hubs the Great who really is the other part of me, and for realizing that even though I might be really far from where I came from I am exactly where I need to be.


  1. Oh what a winding road it has been, but I'm so (selfishly, bwhahaha) grateful it led you all here. xoxo

  2. Oh Meghan - you are a blessing - who brings light to many people's lives - and those beautiful girls of yours are so fortunate to have an incredible mother. Blessings to you - and your family.

  3. What a beautiful (and funny) post! As a Native American I can tell you that I SO wish we didn't have to hear that lame story over and over. It really isn't true people!
    Anyway, I can't wait to read more on your blog!

  4. Hi, I found you through Sarah Magney's facebook, and quickly began stalking. This post makes me laugh, and sums up my exact thoughts on Canadian vs American Thanksgiving. Love it!