Sometimes, I am a little envious of America

In Australia we do not observe Thanksgiving, primarily because the holiday celebrates the gathering of the Pilgrims and the Native Americans in the Autumn of 1621. And that’s not our country’s history.

Traditionally, we have a turkey at Christmastime. We gather together and eat and drink. But, as wrapping paper rains down over living rooms with plastic Christmas trees and tinny carols playing in the background, I cannot help but wish there was a little more to it. The purpose of Christmas, the religion behind it, to me feels lost in Australia. I still love Christmastime, I love the gatherings and celebrations, I love the lights and I LOVE all the champagne. And while I must admit that I know little more than the above about the history of the feast that is the fourth Thursday in November, a big part of me wishes we had something similar.

I think actual recognition of Thanksgiving began for me in 2009, when my parents were in Mississippi for the holiday. My Dad was recovering from vascular surgery, but that’s a story for another time or blog post. My Mum gushed about the enthusiasm for the nationwide gathering and I did feel jealous that I wasn’t part of it.

And maybe a small part of me also wants to go to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. What? I grew up with a mother who loved Miracle on 34th Street, both the 1994 version and the 1947 version. That parade seemed magical to me as I’m sure it does, and is right now, to so many kids.

So tonight when I am home with The Designer, in our house which will not smell of turkey or pumpkin pie and which will not be filled with our family, I will raise my glass and think of those who are doing those things and hope that one day, I may be able to share in pumpkin pie, and for the meantime I will settle for loving my family sick over the Christmas break. Time to pop the champagne and break out the plastic tree.

So, Happy Thanksgiving Day to friends accross The Pacific!

2 thoughts on “Sometimes, I am a little envious of America

  1. Growing up in America, I have always had Thanksgiving as a part of my life at the end of the year. My Dad’s birthday is November 28th, so sometimes the two dates coincide.

    From an American perspective, the holiday is much less about the Pilgrim-esque history, and much more about the thankfulness part. It’s a day when we reflect on everything we (humankind) have to be grateful for in life.

    And there is indeed a lot of emphasis on the cuisine. Our Christmastimes also include traditional meals which almost mirror the Thanksgiving meals, so in effect, we get to enjoy those meals twice per year, if we’re lucky. Sometimes less food emphasis is visited upon Christmastime, probably because of Thanksgiving.

    I am Thankful for a lot of things in life, and I was thinking: I am most definitely Thankful for Australia and Australians. Sometimes, some of us Yanks view you living Down Under as a sort of America but minus all the military and corporate machismo. One day, I will stroll down the streets of Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, go scuba-diving off the Great Barrier Reef and maybe even take a midnight flight across into Fiji. And most of all, I’d love to meet a few of my friends who live there. Until then, I’ll keep my US Passport in my back pocket and keep dreaming of a bigger and better life than I already have.

    Great post! Thanks for the perceptions.

    -Kendall Johnson, Jr.
    Brookhaven, Mississippi, USA

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