Wednesday, November 15, 2006

For Rob - What is American Thanksgiving?

So my girlfriend, Lauren, has gone and fallen in love with a bloody Brit! He is coming to Chicago to spend Thanksgiving with her family, and is a little bit puzzled as to what this holiday actually IS… Lauren said he thinks it’s just an excuse for us “fat Americans” to eat more!! Although he’s partially correct, I decided to educate him (and all my crazy blog subscribers) to the real meaning of American Thanksgiving.

So ROB, Thanksgiving is a legal holiday observed on the fourth Thursday in November. It’s mainly a celebration of domestic life, centered upon family and friends, and YES, it is usually accompanied by a great feast. Thanksgiving menus usually include turkey, bread-crumb stuffing, cranberry sauce, squash, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie. These foods recall the rustic virtues of the Pilgrims. And GOD FORBID you serve anything different – people in America DO NOT LIKE IT if you don’t serve turkey on what many have dubbed “Turkey Day”. I learned that the very, very hard way one year by serving a beautifully-broiled pork tenderloin instead of the traditional bird. BAD IDEA!

I digress…

So you ask “who are these bloody Pilgrims, of which you speak”? Good question! They’re the separatists that left England in the 16th and 17th century to escape religious persecution, immigrated to America, and settled in the northeastern area of the U.S., which is now called New England. They were the first European settlers in the country.

So this holiday originated as a way to give thanks for all that we have here in America, due to the brave immigration of our settlers. It’s really turned into a holiday designed to gather with family and friends, share our appreciation for each other, watch (American) football, and start the Christmas season’s shopping the day after. So don’t ask questions – just eat A LOT, drink A LOT (you’ll be with Lauren), be merry, and you’ll fit right in!

Lots of love, Mer

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