With Thanksgiving this week I cannot help but to share my thoughts on the upcoming holidays. Understand, I can count on one hand how many times I have been home during this time since leaving in 2007. I don’t watch a lot of TV, nor is the news media a huge influence in my life. I live on a Caribbean island and though the season does change here slightly, it is not the same feeling as fall settling in. Thanksgiving is also an American Holiday so not the day it is in the US. People in Cayman do celebrate as there are many American expat’s here, many restaurants serve up a typical meal, grocery stores put food stuffs on sale or sell the full meal to take home. I have cooked dinner a couple of times since leaving in the early years because the holiday was still so much a part of me.
On the road 10 plus years and away from the family during the holidays, you tend to gain a different perspective around this time. Being away from it “the feeling”, “the day”, you tend to step outside a bit and get a broader picture of it all when you look back in. I cannot help but to think of the people who get so depressed down and lonely through the holidays. Myself included, even with a different perspective. I say this because for me, except for a few minutes on the phone with the family while everyone is gathered at my parents house, it is just another day. I will get up and go to work just like any other day. I don’t have the television on so my emotions won’t be tugged all day by programming or commercials being presented throughout the day. Gotta be honest, I don’t miss it either. I was the one who usually cooked it all when I lived in SC or if I am around. I prefer it that way, the kitchen is like my safety net, I can hide behind the work I have to do. Best part is I didn’t have to clean up at the end of the meal cause I had cooked it all.
Thanksgiving is hardly about giving thanks anymore. Yes I can appreciate the fact people gather with their families on this day., but come on, in reality a real effort should be made to gather as a family and be grateful just because. Not for the profit of all the big commercial companies who make money off this day. I am not just talking about turkey day either but the days that follow where people dangle their big sales for you to go broke getting ready for Christmas day. Waking up at the crack of dawn to shop on Black Friday, though I see stores are opening Thursday night now. Spending money you likely don’t have buying gifts to prove how much you love someone or because you feel you have to. Stuff people truly do not need cause they likely have a house full of stuff already.
I enjoy the true rawness of this time of year. The innocence of the children and the delight in their eyes when they see lights or Santa. The kindness it seems to bring out in people. The surprise of the unexpected moments. It is not about the gifts I receive, I barely receive them. I prefer experience over stuff. I like to keep it so that if need be, my “stuff” fits into 2-3 suitcases, ready to go anywhere. I am not a Scrooge, please do not take me as one. I am an American who used to be a part of the stress filled holiday, consumerism and programing trap. I do hope everyone enjoys the holiday with their families and that people can put the drama aside for one day. Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I’ll be on the beach somewhere not suffering from eating too much. If you still need a recipe, check out my dutch apple pie recipe. Always a family favorite!