Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Well, my tomorrow anyway. And tomorrow starts in about 30 minutes. So, you are still half a day away from tomorrow. Which is weird. Anyway.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. My favorite holiday. Ever. I’m not kidding. I love Thanksgiving more than any other holiday or gathering occassion. Always has been. It is in my favorite season and centers around two of my favorite things: my loved ones, and food. Can a holiday really get any better? I don’t think so.
And I’m not celebrating this year. And its really sad. Really, really sad. It makes me horribly homesick. Last year, Kris and I were learning to cook a turkey together. I made two desserts, two casseroles and there were leftovers for over a week. I love leftover Turkey sandwhiches with cold mashed potatoes. So good. No turkey for me this year. Or mashed potatoes. Or pie of any kind.
Even if I wanted to have a feast here, in Hong Kong, the only two Americans I know here don’t eat meat. Sad I tell you. Not that I really have time for Thanksgiving right now. It is obviously not a holiday that anyone here pays attention to. Not just because it is Hong Kong, but because this city is still over-run by the British and they don’t take to kindly to a day that celebrates ditching their nation and all. So, being British and Asian and everything here, there’s no National Holiday for Thanksgiving. So tomorrow, now 20 minutes away, is just Thursday. Plain, old, boring, busy, Thursday. I will go to the office, probably eat rice for lunch, maybe a peanut butter sandwich. I’ll come home and read for awhile. The joy of my day – which will no longer be day at that point, but night, and no longer Thursday for me, but Friday – will be to get up at 2am so as to join my family for Thanksgiving dinner via webcam. I’m coming to the dinner table in my pjs mom – hope you don’t mind.
But, even though there will not be any Turkey, pies, casseroles, or leftovers for me, I am still thankful. The true spirit of Thanksgiving is being appreciative for what we have. My favorite Thanksgiving memory was the year that my friends from college and I went to Atlanta where ALL of my family was already crammed into my Aunt Gayle’s house. It had been a really rough year for everyone, and the spirit of the holiday overwhelmed us all with joy for the first time in months. We laughed, ate way too much, took long walks in the brisk air, ate way too much, shared old stories, ate way too much, made new memories, and ate way too much. My favorite memory of that weekend was one morning Brian was fixing himself a bowl of cereal, and my grandmother was talking to him. He was listening to her, but had moved to get the milk. She reached out and smacked him with her cane to get his attention. Later, he came down to the basement where I was and said, “Your grandmother just hit me with her cane!!” Typical.
And it makes me think, not only is it my first Thanksgiving alone, with no turkey, but it also the first Thanksgiving without my grandmother. Granted, I didn’t spend every Thanksgiving with her, but it is the first holiday since she has passed. And that makes me really sad too.
Sorry, I keep trying to bring it back to the fact that I am still thankful, even without the turkey. And I am. I really am thankful for the amazing friends that love me despite distance. For family who will be gathering around a table and placing a laptop where I would be sitting. For a wonderful boyfriend who lets me be crazy sometimes, and makes me laugh, and is teaching me to love in new ways. For the opportunity to live in a community that is so welcoming and challenging at the same time. For the women I work with, who make me laugh on a daily basis. For the chance to get to be a part of a movement that is going places, doing things, making a difference in individual lives.
So, turkey or no, even if I’m sad, I’m still giving Thanks.