Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving: A "Moveable" Feast

The other day I opened the newspaper and noticed a full page ad from the Philippines' leading department store chain announcing  a Thanksgiving Day sale. Apparently this American holiday day, like Halloween, is another occasion that has recently made its way into the calendar of (unofficial) fiestas in the Philippines, at least in Metro-Manila.  Another indication of this trend is that many restaurants now feature turkey on their menus on Thanksgiving. (It may sound strange to associate turkey with the Philippines, but these birds are also bred here and raised for local consumption)   Tellingly, just  to show how Thanksgiving is creeping  into the culture as a point of reference, a few days ago Filipino of mine made reference to our getting together together after this holiday.                                                            

I enjoy the attention that Thanksgiving is getting locally as it's about the only national holiday in the U.S. to which I personally attach any sentiment. Like many Americans, I associate this day with such events as (now bygone)  family gatherings and memories of  the overall festive feeling, the carefree four-day school breaks of my childhood, often accompanied by snow and an anticipation of the approaching winter season and the latter's festivals.

In my later years before retiring and relocating to the Philippines, when we weren't celebrating Thanksgiving with relatives, my wife Lydia and I would observe this special day off from work by going to a fine dining restaurant and enjoying  a traditional fare with all the trimmings rather than going to the trouble of preparing such a meal just for the two of us. On that holiday it just didn't feel right for us to dine by ourselves at home.

In all honestly, contrary to the original purpose of  Thanksgiving, I can't honestly say that I consider that day to be set aside as an occasion to reflect on whatever good fortune that  that I've found in life (or that has found me).  That is something that I do almost every day anyway.

Instead,  even though Lydia and I are no longer working, we will continue carrying out our Thanksgiving customs for the foreseeable future.  It's too much a part of our tradition to stop now.


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