Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
I always miss the American holiday spirit around this time of year. When I was growing up, our family would get together at Thanksgiving potlucks hosted by family friends (we didn't have relatives in America). The adults would do their thing and us kids would do our thing, which was playing video games, throw Nerf footballs and wrestle with other kids, mostly boys. You see why I was like a boy until I went to Japan?
Before starting shopping for Christmas, we'd always stop by a giant Christmas tree in downtown San Francisco and marvel at its grandness. The glass ornaments, ribbons and lights were just beautiful. Everyone during this time of year would seem especially nice, and there would be the smell of pine trees everywhere, including inside our house. Every few years, Dad would take us to a Christmas tree farm somewhere and we'd pick our own, beautiful tree, chop it down, tie it to the roof of the car and drive it home ourselves. It was probably hell for Mom and Dad because we were so little and the tree so big, but it was so much fun for us. For a couple of months, the wonderful smell of our Christmas tree would fill the house, and our spirits would get higher and higher as the presents under the tree accumulated.
Weekends were especially wonderful as it was nice and cold, and we'd all fight for a spot by the fireplace to roast marshmallows while Dad picked at watermelon seeds (see the cultural difference?). Whoever that couldn't get a seat by the fire got to sit by Lucky and Miffy, who didn't seem to enjoy the flames and crackling wood all that much.
Although we didn't seem to have many of those years when Dad was always around, we had a few good ones.
After I went to college, every Thanksgiving I'd still celebrate with friends or fly home to celebrate with Michael and Daniel. In Tokyo, we couldn't get turkey, so Jenny pan fried a tuna fish head in Mama's atelier one year. Then Jenny got too busy with work the next year, so I decided to celebrate by taking Grandma and Grandpa to have turkey at a Californian restaurant instead.
But this year, my third year in Taiwan, it was a lonely Thanksgiving, if you can even call it one. No turkey, no family, no Thanksgiving.
Next year, I have to have a proper Thanksgiving and Christmas, no matter what.