I, for one, am glad Thanksgiving is over.
Of all the holidays, that’s the one that gets under my skin. Being Jewish, we never celebrated Christmas, so that’s a non-event. Movies, Chinese food, napping, it doesn’t matter what happens on December 25th (it’s the 25th, right?).
And what else is there? That about wraps it up.
Thanksgiving is the one that was always a big deal in my family. That was the one that my father spent all day cooking. That was the one full of ritual and routine. I don’t remember us ever inviting other people over or going over to anyone’s house on Thanksgiving. We definitely didn’t dress up for it. But it was the familiarity of it, the consistency of it, that made it so comfortable.
My father always took it very seriously. The sweet potatoes, the turkey — everything was carefully orchestrated and timed and always delicious. Even the gravy was a delicately done affair. Food was served in china that had once been my grandmother’s, and the gravy always sat in the cutest little gravy pitcher.
Every year was exactly the same, but that’s the whole point of Thanksgiving, isn’t it?
Which is why, every year, I get just a bit mopey on Thanksgiving, sometimes on the day before, always on the day or two after. Because Thanksgiving always feel like it’s a holiday for families. I always wonder what the other “orphans” do because I rarely seem to see them. Everyone seems magically to get sucked up into some kind of family situation on Thanksgiving. Even people you didn’t know had families end up surrounded by them at the end of November. Parents, siblings just turn up.
And I’m also acutely aware of my lack thereof.
I went to an orphan Thanksgiving this year. It was hosted by a family (of course) but there were a slew of us orphans around the table. It was very cute and sweet and the food was delicious (sweet potatoes are just the best, am I right?), but still, there’s always that part of me that feels a bit forgotten, that feels like I used to feel in gym class (and like I still do in yoga class) when everyone seems instantaneously to have a partner and I’m looking around the room anxiously, the odd one out.
But it’s over now, for another year, and I’ll be good and grateful for what I have — which is primarily that I’ve got another year before I have to deal with it again.