Friday, November 26, 2010

A Thanksgiving That's Not Really Mine Anymore

If you think I'm a day late posting this, then you don't really understand US Thanksgiving.  It officially happens on the 4th Thursday of November, but it's really a lot bigger than that!

It generally starts on the Wednesday before, when most students, from kindergarten to University, and lots of employees get off at noon in order to get to family by the next day.  Lots of people take the entire Wednesday off, in order to get an extra day of travel time.  It continues, of course, on Thursday, when most of the cooking, all the eating, and a lot of the football watching happens.  Then there's Black Friday.  And yes, most Americans, save those working in retail or essential services, get those two-and-a-half days off.  On Saturday, it's time to start saying goodbye to family as they start to make their way back across the country to their homes.  Or maybe it's time to put up the winter holiday decorations, especially the tree.  On Sunday it's definitely time to say goodbye to the last of your guests, and by Sunday evening everything is pretty much back to normal, except for the leftovers, and the newly-hung decorations.

So, you see, it's perfectly legitimate to be writing about US Thanksgiving today.

When we first moved to Canada, to British Columbia, we celebrated  both the Canadian and the American versions of the holiday.  And many years we traveled to see family in distant states for the US version.  But since we've moved back to Canada (Ontario, this time),  and especially since we've gotten our Permanent Residence status and have made the decision to apply for Canadian citizenship, we haven't really tried.  Asking for those 2 1/2  days off gets old, especially when you're not in the holiday spirit because everyone around you celebrated the holiday weeks ago.  And I hadn't really missed it.  I think in a lot of ways it's easier not to think about it.

But today I have been thinking about it, and I've been down about it.  I'm not sure why, but this year I miss my family terribly, and I miss the huge hoopla that surrounds this 4th Thursday.  So much so that I've shed more than a few tears today.  I had big plans--finish a couple of lessons, finish a project for a friend that's way overdue, make sure Kai can pass all the Level 2 items that I know he knows.  But, instead, I cried, and felt down, and generally blah.

Maybe tonight I can forget it, this holiday I no longer consider mine.

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