Having an American holiday in Germany provides a challenge that I will happily accept. Growing up, Thanksgiving was a big deal for a lot of reasons- 1. My mom loved cooking, 2. my mom loved having a lot of people in one place, 3. my family’s ancestry can be traced back to the Wampanoag Native Americans- the ones that started the Thanksgiving tradition, which is pretty cool when you think about it, 4. my mom really loved having a lot of people in one place because then I would have to clean in a timely manner and it was acceptable for her to yell at me to clean everything and afterward she would be quite happy with the state of the house, 5. my Dad loved eating, A LOT. For me, Thanksgiving rocks for the one reason that I get to cook in large quantities with the only guidelines that I must serve turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, a vegetable of some sort and pie! There are no guidelines as to how you make these things; the part I love the most.
Now turkey is not entirely common in Germany, but I was able to find a frozen one in our local Edeka. Next week will be the week of finding cranberries and the German version of crisco, crisco here costs 7 euros a pop, and we aren’t talking the big tub of it either. And on another important note, because everyone works here on Thanksgiving day, I will have to throw my shindig on Saturday, the same day the Christmas markets open. So a good way to walk off the Thanksgiving pudge is to go to the Christmas markets afterward. Sounds ideal right?
Here is another thing to know about Germans and their holidays. I don’t know about you, but my family had Thanksgiving and then that night we would put up our Christmas tree. In Deutschland, I guess it is their culture to put the Christmas tree up on Christmas Eve. We are allowed to get in the spirit of Christmas right after Thanksgiving ends and all the radios play Christmas music, the stores get all done up, but here the stores already look like whoville or a Christmas wonderland and since there are no competing religions here in Germany, everyone has Christmas displays.
So I am compromising, I will have my Thanksgiving on Saturday and we will put up our Christmas tree 2 weeks before the holiday. That way, we are between our two cultures. However, the Christmas music must come on after Thanksgiving meal. No way around that. And to anyone who knows me, maybe holidays haven’t always been a big deal for me and that has a lot to do with the stress of it, and honestly, my family or lack thereof. But now is the time in my life to start new traditions and to feel like a part of something again. I’ve always wanted the lights, the tree and decorations, and the G-Man and I get to pick out these things together. These will be the things we will have to decorate with when we have kids, and when they grow up, they will come home and go, wow, these decorations are so old remember that time…. And I say this because that is how I was with my Mom’s decorations, but we lost all of those after her passing. So for me it’s like rebuilding for my future and creating traditions for our future children. Yeah, that’s a lot to think about and take in.
But let’s just start with this Thanksgiving. So if you don’t see a post, I’m in the weeds of cooking, planning, creating but I’ll be back. Besides, I did a test trial of apple pie last weekend and the G-Man literally ate it in one sitting. I have a lot of work to do!