Saturday, December 11, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Surprisingly enough, I think Thanksgiving might be moving into position as my new favorite holiday. It seems a simple, almost humble holiday to me. There are no cartoon mascots, no candy, no obligatory gifts - just a traditional meal with people you care about. I adore how Elizabeth Gilbert puts it in her book Eat, Pray, Love, that Thanksgiving is "a day of grace and thanks and community and ... pleasure." That’s exactly how I feel.

Jason and I held Thanksgiving at our place this year. We invited a large group of people - friends, friends of friends, co-workers, and neighbors to come together and celebrate. Over the years, my Thanksgiving traditions have evolved. As I’ve spent 14 years living far from my family, I tend to celebrate with groups of friends or their families. In doing this, it’s easy to pick up new traditions. For instance, cranberry sauce never made to the table (or into the house) during holidays while I was growing up. However, it's now a staple on my Thanksgiving table because a friend once insisted I try it...and I loved it. This year, my friend Nate could not comfortably celebrate without Martinelli's Sparkling Cider. He bought a ton of it at Costco and lugged it over to our place. It was a nice treat and one that I’ll probably adopt in the future.

Along with a dominate group of Americans, we had many non-Americans at the table too. We shared our Thanksgiving with a German, numerous Koreans, a Kiwi, some Canadians, and a Polack. I found out this year that Thanksgiving isn't an exclusively American holiday. Canadians celebrate it too, albeit a little sooner than we do. Their holiday falls on the second Monday in October. Of course the end of harvest season is celebrated in many other countries, only under different names. Since everyone worked on Thursday, we waited until the following Saturday to celebrate. And although it was a cold, grey, rainy day outside, it was a warm, peaceful, homey day inside.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday this year and were able to celebrate with it with people you love.

Holidays don't seem as special if there aren't kids around. Thankfully we had four little ones as guests this year.

As our friend John's birthday fell on the same day as our celebration, we had cake along with pumpkin and apple pie.

Darts were a part of the festivities - as they have been daily since Jason brought a board back from the states last summer.

We had recently acquired a few new pieces of furniture - just in time too. Previously we only had one couch to offer people.

I made a sweet potato cassarole, deviled eggs, and gravy. Everything else came from a restaurant on the American military base in Itaewon.

Brendan and Jenna have since moved on from Korea. They're moving to Istanbul in a few days time.

I love trivia games, so I put one together for the party. Eden even tried to join in for a while.