Sunday, November 22, 2015
Thanksgiving in Mexico
Thanksgiving is a holiday which I didn’t really think much about before I came to. I mean sure I loved the get together and the turkey but that’s about all it was for me. I hardly remembered the whole story behind it besides that it had to do with pilgrims and Indians. I honestly didn’t even know how much I had taken the holiday for granted until my first Thanksgiving here in Mexico. This post is dedicated to all my ladies who are in their first few years her in Mexico. I actually don’t get sad at Thanksgiving anymore. It’s a fun time with good friends and my family. But this year I had some friends over who are in their first few years here and I was reminded of how hard it was before. I want you all to know I’m sending this blog out as a virtual hug to help you feel a bit better during this time of year which can be very difficult.
Flashback to November 2008, I was determined to still celebrate Thanksgiving and make it as much like home as I could. I had no idea how to make a turkey and hubby was working constantly. I think I ended up making a ham. Since I was fairly new to staying at home and not working all day the dinner and clean up didn’t seem to take as long as I thought it would. So this gave me an incredible amount of time to think. That is never a good thing. We invited the only family we had in town at the time. I wanted us to eat dinner around 6pm so we could have everything cleaned up and tidy for an appropriate bed time. For those of you that have been here form more than a few days may already be laughing. Of course six o clock rolls around and I have my daughter watching the parade over and over again on the computer. Food is cooked, hot and ready to serve. My husband comes in and is so thankful for all I’ve done. I’m feeling pretty good at this point. I mean even though we had mentioned that we would eat at six I had been in Mexico almost 6 months now and I knew they would be a “bit” late. Now its seven o’clock and I was getting a little annoyed. I ask hubby to call his family and find out what’s going on. Oh they say they would be here around eight. What?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? That’s when I gave up on my Thanksgiving being anything like in the states. Isn’t it funny how my expectations totally ruined my day? That happened to me a lot when I first got here. Next I fed Alana and put her to bed and Issac and I hung out until they showed up. Here is where it gets interesting. We heated up the food and sat down to eat, then came the flow of questions. Why do you celebrate Thanksgiving? Why do you eat turkey? When was the first thanksgiving? What happened? Why is the pumpkin pie so important? What’s your favorite part about thanksgiving? I of course mumbled and scrambled my way through explanations as Issac translated for me. But it made me realize how I hadn’t really thought of these things in a very long time.
From that year on I decided we needed to make traditions that help us to remember what Thanksgiving is about. And for me it’s not really about pilgrims and Indians. To me it’s about taking a day (or a month) to be sure and reminds yourself of all that you are thankful for. I know that we need to be thankful all year round and actually we are but how much better to have a day specially set out to celebrate what you’re thankful for with friends and family. The girls learn about Christopher Columbus and all that in October here so I just let them know that the original Thanksgiving was because the immigrants needed help and the people who already were there taught them how to survive and that is what they were celebrating. One of our favorite traditions is our Thankful tree. We make it and put it up at the beginning of November and anyone who visits is asked to write on a leaf what they are thankful for. My girls write a leaf almost every day if I let them. Here is a beginning and now pic of our tree this year. It looks a bit different every year and depends on what materials I have on hand. Last year it was made form newspaper. This year I happened to have large white paper so we used that. It’s a fun way to keep our minds and hearts focused in the right direction during a time when we could start feeling down and alone.