As a Brit there are very few unique holidays than can be attributed to these isles, and very few that would be known worldwide. The closest we have is Guy Fawkes Night where we celebrate the arrest and torture of a catholic who tried to blow up the protestant king by burning effigies and releasing fireworks in the freezing November rain.
This isn’t my first Thanksgiving, I had that pleasure a few years ago when I went to visit the then Future Mrs Geek Ergo Sum in New York. Not only was it my first experience of the American ‘Holiday Season’ but it was also the first time I would be meeting her family.
Now that we are both married with child and living in the UK everything seems different to her. Normally in America they would be building up to Thanksgiving whereas over here we are already getting into the Christmas spirit. I’m already thinking about a large turkey dinner but not until the end of December. The chance of having another one a month before hand has got me excited.
It has also got Mrs G excited, it is that moment in life when the baton is passed from parent to child. A culinary generational shift. The cooking of the Thanksgiving dinner is now her responsibility for the near future as the senior American matriarch in the family. Today in the house all I could smell was pie. It still does. Apple pie and raspberry pie, and a traditional pumpkin pie even though this is an anathema to us British. Still enough pie to keep a bunch of people measuring circles happy for a long time.
Traditionalists may notice the absence of Cherry Pie, as American as Apple Pie (on this special day I am going to resist the urge to correct this phrase), but Mrs G has been let down by the lack of ingredients in the British supermarket. We even struggled for the traditional turkey, we don’t start stocking fresh turkey until the weekend and the beginning of advent.
This year we are doing a full blown Thanksgiving for 11 at home, and have everything bubbling away ready for a large family dinner, enough food to feed everyone thrice over (something which I am told is traditional – which seems odd for a celebration that gives thanks for not starving) and enough turkey to fill my sandwiches till Christmas Eve. The day has been spent making various kinds of potato (including my nemesis, sweet) and a myriad of stuffings.
So this thanksgiving I’m thankful for my lovely wife, my beautiful daughter and my family on both sides of the Atlantic. Happy Holidays everyone, even if you don’t celebrate.