I say ‘depressingly’ because, in a country where Thanksgiving is just any other day, it’s difficult to be anything but low-key.
My colleagues and students always enjoyed learning about Thanksgiving, more than any other holiday. Because it was so different from anything they have here. Their eyes would go wide when I told them we had a whole day dedicated to being thankful for what we have. (Not something that comes easily to the French:) Then we’d go around the room and offer up examples of things we were thankful for. We’d watch the Mayflower Voyagers as a class (I have a copy in French), and I’d show them the Macy’s Day Parade book with fold-out posters of the balloons over New York City. They’d ‘ooh and aah’ over the never-seen before pictures of spider man and snoopy floating amidst the sky scrapers and ask me if they’re ‘really that big?’
They’d listen with mouths agape as I told them what’s involved in our annual feast, raising their hands whenever they thought something sounded ‘good’ or ‘gross’. The little ones would make colourful hand-turkeys and the older kids would come to class later that week with stories about trying to make their first pumpkin pie with the recipe I handed out.
I feel like, in my own little way, I made the holiday real, not just for them, but for me, too. And being out of work this year, I’ve missed the build-up and excitement that comes from sharing Thanksgiving with people who know nothing about it. It was a really great feeling, and I hope to be able to do it again someday.
Until then, I’m thankful to be sharing the holiday with my own little family and for the little things. There may not be cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie filling at the grocery store, but there’s also no mad rush of people looking to buy last-minute ingredients, crowded parking lots or lines, or panic attacks over finding a turkey in time. So, I guess sometimes low-key isn’t so bad:)
I hope all of you back in the states have a wonderful holiday!