In our little family by the sea we’ve formed a new tradition over the past few years. A huge Thanksgiving and a quiet Christmas. It suits us well enough and it suits my family and friends too. My family doesn’t really do Christmas. We’re a bit odd, we don’t really do family get-togethers and I think that’s hard on bethend because her family will get together at the drop of a hat. This way we’re satisfied. So massive thanksgiving, quiet Christmas.
We live in a small house, a bungalow and it’s harder to get everyone in it. Impossible for everyone to sit down. We all tend to eat wherever we could sit, chairs, sofa, floor. No one minds but each year as we make more friends more people come to celebrate with us.
In The Village Hall
So this year we hired the village hall and decorated it, set up tables, brought the food from home. Bethend made two pumpkin pies, a turkey, a giant ham, green bean casserole, shaksuka and some cornbread. People brought food as well mostly deserts a lot of deserts! There were so many puddings! We had a piñata (as seen in my Sunday photo) that my wife made the base of and I painted. We made paper chains, had balloons. Some people couldn’t come. Some friends have just had puppies they couldn’t leave, my boss had a migraine. New people came, work colleagues and their kids.
It was chaos as usual.
But less stressful.
We didn’t have to worry about the state of house, or if everyone would fit. Where we would put the cats so they couldn’t get out. People finding the house, where they would park. The village hall meant we didn’t have to worry about any of that. We just had to worry about the food and the logistics of it all – the hall is only round the corner – we live behind it. So it was easy to transport everything, some things were walked round, some things were driven round by my neighbour.
A lot of fun was had. The food was eaten, everyone had a good time. The piñata riled up the kids just before they went home as usual. No one got hurt though so it was successful. My friends son took home the piñata turkey’s head – at his cousin’s birthday, he took home the head from the Olaf piñata my wife made. My niece got upset because she only got a few sweets and two of them were gob-stoppers which her mum did not allow her to have. This was easily rectified with some strategic sweet trading.
Sleeping Through It All
Snappy was really good at his first Thanksgiving. He was passed around for hugs as usual, then my mum turned up and claimed him for a bit. I took him for a bit so she could eat, popped him back in his pushchair so I could eat. I placed him next to my sister and friend and he put himself to sleep chewing on his Peebles (Princess Bubblegum). He woke up as we were leaving, just in time to see his American family on Skype!
I also set up a jar for people to write what they were thankful for on slips of paper and place them in the jar to revisit next year but haven’t actually looked in the jar yet. I am thankful for my wife and son and definitely thankful for the village hall. And as it turns out, the WI who held their meeting a week early so we could use the hall. Thanks ladies!
Be The Good You Want To See
Thanksgiving isn’t really a thing here, but Black Friday is which bugs me somewhat. There is no thankfulness before people go out and spend a lot of money without any real awareness of the season. I know Thanksgiving is also a bit controversial. Its origin is not what everyone thinks it is and it’s become another holiday that a lot of people celebrate without thinking. Christmas and Easter are the same. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. While I’m not American, and do not agree with the way Native Americans are treated it doesn’t mean the holiday can’t be celebrated, nor does it mean you can’t in some way find some good it.
You have to create the good, though. Don’t expect it to just happen. Be the good you want to see in the world. Volunteer your time, your money, your heart.
Hope you all had a good Thanksgiving whether you celebrate or not. And remember – now we can get ready for Christmas!