It's Thanksgiving this Thursday and Friday. It's a holiday tradition that began hundreds of years ago when some American Indians took pity on the starving and dying European immigrants and taught them how to grow food and survive in the New World. To thank the Indians for their help, the Pilgrims invited them to a feast, and thus, the American Thanksgiving tradition was born.
If only those Indians had known that in a few years, those Europeans would start centuries of warfare to eliminate the Native Americans and take over the New World. No good deed goes unpunished.
To celebrate Thanksgiving, you're supposed to spend time with your family, eat turkey and pie, and give thanks for all the good things in your life. The last time I spent Thanksgiving with my family was my last year in high school. After that, I've been spending the holiday with friends or working on the holiday. I don't mind working on Thanksgiving; I get paid the holiday rate, and it's nice to see a hardworking coworker spend time with their family.
When I was younger, I luved Thanksgiving. My favorite part of Thanksgiving was being off from school for two days. I luved the 4 day weekends! All that extra time to sleep in and play and do whatever I wanted! It was fun, hanging out with friends, playing with cousins I hadn't seen in a while, no real worries. The food was always great: roasted turkey, sweet potatoes, ham, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and so many other delicious, rich foods. Of course, in my house, we also had fried chicken and pork chops and chili in addition to the usual Thanksgiving fare. When I started living on my own, Chinese food became one of my favorite add ons to the traditional Thanksgiving meal.
My first Thanksgiving on my own, some friends and I got together and sat down for a meal in a small apt with second hand furniture and mismatched plates. Seeing as none of us fellas knew how to roast a turkey, we had Chinese food and pizza and chicken wings for dinner. It was just the six of us, far away from home, yet we were our own little family. We laughed, we talked, we teased and toasted each other during our Thanksgiving meal. It felt good to be around good friends, being on our own, the world just seemed so full of possibilities.
Since then, every Thanksgiving, we'd have Chinese food on the menu. It was our tradition. Even now, many years later and with us living far apart from each other, we keep the tradition going. Whether we are by ourselves or in the company of others, having Chinese food on Thanksgiving means that we are never alone, because the memory and the spirit of that first Thanksgiving is alive and well with us. It reminds us of when we first started out, so young, having nothing but our friendship and sense of adventure that gave us the courage to be on our own, to seek out something more, to find ourselves.
So for Thanksgiving, I'm having some Chinese food. I want to remember the good friends I have in life, to celebrate the gift of friendship, to be thankful for all the good things that have happened to me. However you spend the holiday, I hope you spend it doing something you love, if not with the people you love. Thank you for all your support. Thank you for your friendship.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.