yesterday while teaching english i felt like a third grader with a writing assignment: what thanksgiving means to me. most spaniards have heard of thanksgiving - have seen it depicted in movies - but aren't quite sure what it's all about. because it is my favorite holiday, i felt it was my duty to inform them.
thanksgiving is about more than turkey, i explained. it's about waiting for this turkey dinner all week long. you spend the entire day smelling it, then steal juicy bites while it is being carved. you have leftovers for the next week or so, to the point where you are just about to get sick of it. then you make turkey soup.
thanksgiving is about a 4 1/2 day weekend. here in spain it happens all the time; a holiday is on a thursday and they throw in the friday for free. in u.s. and a. if you're lucky you might get an extra day at 4th of july, but only if all the stars align correctly and your boss is a sweetheart. thanksgiving is the best because it's just enough time to go home, or not go home, whatever your fancy. and if you do go home you can hang out with your home friends, the ones who came home and ones who never left. you go to the local bars, you drive around, you bump into people.
on thanksgiving you don't have to do anything cheesy or commerical: no cards, no presents, no decorations, no fake religious or patriotic sentimentality. you just eat, watch football and be thankful.
i miss thanksgiving in framingham, but thanksgiving in madrid has its own charm. it will be observed by yours truly on saturday this year. can't wait.