“Do you celebrate Thanksgiving in England?” Being British and while I was living in the USA, every November there would be at least one person who would ask me “Do you celebrate Thanksgiving in England?”
Of course I knew that I should really have just answered “No we don’t”, which would have most likely triggered another question as to why not. But, me being me, I would usually respond with something like “No, why would we celebrate getting rid of the rejects”, which resulted in a blank stare and a frown and no more questions, but I think most people saw the funny side and I always did my best to make sure they realized it was just a joke.
Of course I know the Pilgrims weren’t rejects, they were just doing what so many other oppressed Europeans were doing at the time, attempting to leave their troubles behind them and starting a fresh life in a Brave New World.
It was rather strange being British in the USA as the year ends, because our big turkey day in England is Christmas Day, whereas for so many Americans, once Thanksgiving is over, you have had enough of turkey and the last thing you want is another turkey dinner just a few weeks later. For me though, Christmas just didn’t seem right without a turkey.
Whenever we have a roast dinner in England, we have roast potatoes, lots of different vegetables and thick dark gravy. It just seemed weird to me to have a roast turkey served with mashed potatoes, precious few vegetables, other than green beans in a casserole, and then the gravy was only intended for the mashed potatoes, whereas in the UK we pour our gravy over EVERYTHING!
Sure, I got used to the different customs in the USA after living there for a couple of years and I do love pumpkin pie, but Thanksgiving did take a bit of getting used to. I guess in the Northern USA you also need to stuff yourself with hot food on Thanksgiving so you can survive in the freezing cold waiting for the stores to open on Black Friday.
I have some good Black Friday stories to tell as well, but best left to another time.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
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