Saturday, November 24, 2007

Happy Holidays!

Tomorrow, Sunday, we celebrate Thanksgiving Day – ‘el Día de la Gracia’. Most of my family is American so it’s a regular celebration in our particular ménage. We’ll be putting some fourteen stalwarts around the two tables where they will be expected to eat and drink until they actually can’t move. It’s a kind of early Christmas, with turkey, stuffing, mash, yams (a funny orange vegetable that the Americans swear by), peas, gravy and so on. Cranberry sauce. Gosh – I hope they didn’t forget the cranberry sauce! We’ll have pudding. We’ll drink our way through the wine although, apart from perhaps contributing to our sleepiness, the alcohol won’t be able to get past the barrier of the yams and mash into our livers and brains. There’ll be blazing logs in the fireplace. The dogs will be fast asleep on the sofa, overcome by the heat. Outside it’ll be cold and getting dark. Perhaps a little rain.
It’s always struck me as a good idea to celebrate the event. First of all there’s a good meal and copious turkey sandwiches to last over the following few days. Secondly, it’s a holiday which doesn’t have much commercial paraphernalia wrapped around it unlike the increasingly bothersome festivities to come. Thirdly, in our household, it’s always celebrated not on the penultimate Thursday of November but on – or near – a much more important date. My birthday.
Thanksgiving is of course a celebration to remember the early American settlers, who apparently lasted a year in some God-forsaken spot on the North East corner of New England. After twelve months of doing whatever one does in such a place, when there is no Wal-Mart nearby and where a few of your neighbours have been eaten by bears, it’s good to mark the anniversary and to invite the rather well-fed Indians from across the Crick.
As long as they bring some food with them.
I think it’s a fine reason for a celebration. I think that all the foreigners who have had the luck or the planning to wash up on the shores of Almería might consider setting aside a special day for just the same reason as those original pilgrims to America once did.
To thank God for their deliverance and good fortune.

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