Thanksgiving: An american Tradition

We’re all about saying ‘Thanks’ at RedBalloon, so Holly, our resident American, thought it appropriate to share some memories from her country’s version of gratitude: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving, one of our most beloved holidays and perhaps one of the first great American traditions.

The holiday started in 1621, when a group of Pilgrims and a group of Native Americans came together to celebrate the harvest and give thanks.  Today the holiday is synonymous with gorging ourselves on turkey.

Thanksgiving to me, and I’m sure many others, is all about family. Some of my best memories are of Thanksgivings spent stuffing myself silly and sharing laughs with my family.

Our routine was always the same.  As soon as Dad got home from work we would all pile into the car, pop in The Beach Boys cassette tape and set off for Grandma and Grandpas house while belting out our favourite tune, “Kokomo”.

Thanksgiving morning we would wake up bright and early, put on our Sunday best, and trek over to whichever family members house had been nominated to host that year.  A huge family gathering would ensue, around 50 people all up, aunties, uncles, cousins, second cousins, second cousins once removed, you get the picture.  Roast turkeys, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and lots and lots of pumpkin pie!!!  But above all else, the day was about spending quality time with our loved ones.

Yummm, Turkey!

Mmmm, Turkey!

When we woke up on Thanksgiving morning our first year here in Australia, in our own apartment, to a bright sunny day pushing 30 C (it would be lucky to hit 0 C on Thanksgiving in the US that year) it was definitely a shock to the system.  Where was my family?  I’d never cooked a turkey in my life, and after all, it was just the two of us, so we settled for a rotisserie chicken and a skype video call with our families.  To be honest, it was more than a little bit depressing.

The next year we made a decision, we wanted Thanksgiving here in Australia, and it was our job to make that happen.

We hosted a sit down dinner, catered solely by yours truly, for 35 of our nearest and dearest friends.  And it was fantastic!  Everyone was so excited about the idea beforehand, they insisted on having a dress up theme, Americana.

Aussie Thanksgiving

Aussie Thanksgiving

It was impossible not to look around the table and feel completely blessed.  We had started a tradition of gathering all of those who we love most around us to share in our giving of thanks.

Mr and Mrs Thanksgiving

Mr and Mrs Thanksgiving

Especially now, when there seem to be fewer hours in the day, more tasks to try and cram into those hours, and everyone is caught up in the hustle and bustle of their day to day lives…it is vital to take time out to say “Thank You”.  Thanksgiving is just that, a time when we can share our bounty with one another in the form of food, time, and LOVE…

I encourage everyone to say thank you and I wish all of you a happy and joyous Thanksgiving.

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