Thanksgiving

This past weekend I encountered the first (of many, I'll explain below) Thanksgiving dinners that I have ever had. It was full of food, beer drinking, American Football, and most importantly, a good sense of fun times had with good friends.

As a Briton, the notion of giving thanks stops at the word "Cheers" spoken after the exchange of money for beer, food, or commercial goods - having a full dinner that celebrates the idea of giving thanks is something that confuses me at the core. See, the story of 'thanksgiving' (in the USA, I'll explain below) is something of a mythical beast it's self. The story of the pilgrims needing food and the natives helping them out by teaching them how to harvest the crop from the new lands better so they wouldn't die sounds amazing and, considering the size of the USA these days, seems a pivotal moment in the countries history. The fact that is glosses over a large wiping out of a native way of life via war and bloodshed is a minor point.

I'll point out at this point that it is most likely those pesky Imperialists that left for the New Word from my country of origin that caused this bloodshed.

I struggled to remember when I was made aware of the holiday of Thanksgiving. In trying to remember this, I remembered that some of the things that I know from the American States are mostly taken from movies. Take for example, the perennial Christmas film Home Alone - watching the sequel, Lost in New York this weekend, I realised that it was probably the first instance of me being aware of the city of New York and for the majority of my youth I was confused as to what happens when the hotel porter (called a bellhop) asks for a tip. See, Kevin McAllister is like me and doesn't really understand that the bellhop is asking for a 'tip'. And he gives him some chewing gum. I didn't understand that at all as a child. And as an adult, I still didn't understand Thanksgiving.

At any rate, there wasn't much to understand really - it was all about going round to a friend's house (the gracious Josephine and her husband's family being our surrogate Thanksgiving group this year) and eating food. We ate a lot of food. I baked brownies and took beers and Joe took shortbread and whisky, and I got marginally drunk. The best thing about the day was the football though - a day full of watching the NFL and then the Aggies beat the Longhorns of UT. It was a very good day.

And, as I said above, this is the first of many Thanksgivings I expect to have because Connie is Canadian. An interesting point that I hadn't realised until recently was that Canada too has thanksgiving, but earlier, in October. So I expect to celebrate the Canadian holiday in the future more than the American version like this year.