We all love holidays for the family get-togethers, the food, and of course the break from school. Thanksgiving reminds us to cherish what we have and enjoy a time of peace. Although Black Friday nearly overshadows this holiday, we can remember the historical significance and thank God for His protection over us.
In such a diverse country, people have found different ways to celebrate the same holiday. Two of the Clay columnists have shared their Thanksgiving traditions.
How do you celebrate Thanksgiving?
Up until about a year ago, this is how we celebrated Thanksgiving. A lot of my family members lived near us back when we lived in Texas, so they would all come over to our house for Thanksgiving. My mom loves throwing parties, so it happened every year. We always ended up with way too much food, ribs that were sore from laughing too hard, and at least one of my cousins tied up with a jump rope by my little brother (yes, that actually happened one year. Don’t ask…). One year we started inviting friends who had nowhere to go for the holidays, but that quickly resulted in a house full of people so we actually had to set up a second table in another room and eat Thanksgiving dinner in two groups. It was interesting. (And there was STILL too much food.)
Last year we moved to Florida. The closest relatives I have live about five hours away so we’re still finding a way to make it work (we still have too much food, but now it’s too much for a group of four rather than a group of 15-20).
I love to shock my friends by telling them I never have turkey for Thanksgiving. I was a toddler the one and only time my mother prepared the famed bird, slaving for hours in the kitchen making all the traditional Thanksgiving dishes. Unfortunately, my mother’s side of the family is Chinese, and during dinner, they did not fail to express their disapproval with the American meal. From that day to this, my family has had Chinese food for every Thanksgiving.
Traditionally, my family has hot pot on Thanksgiving night. Like Americans, the preparation of the meal is a joint effort. My mother makes big pots of chicken soup, my aunt makes shrimp balls, and my grandparents purchase other ingredients. My father sets up three portable gas stoves on our dining table. My mother distributes the soup into the pots, and everyone takes turns putting raw ingredients into the boiling broth. The food includes raw beef and lamb, fish, squid, several varieties of tofu, rice cakes, tripe, mushrooms, and Chinese vegetables. After the food is cooked, we take it out and eat it with peanut sauce and cilantro. In short, my family celebrates a very un-American Thanksgiving, but I would never trade my fish heads and tofu for any turkey and stuffing.
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