Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Two days until Thanksgiving!

This very American holiday in late November focused on food. And shopping. Let's talk about the food first.

The Thanksgiving table is just as complicated and predetermined and traditional as the Swedish "julbord". Same dishes every year. And same questions on "should we buy pre-made or do it ourselves". For an alien, some combinations really doesn't make sense. But then you think about the Swedish "julbord" and realize we're not much better. The combination of meatballs and herring really must have people wonder...

I don't know this for a fact, but I think that the American stoves are as sized as they are because of the Thanksgiving holiday and the traditional turkey. Because the turkeys are... HUGE. Our first year here we decided we should try to do this Thanksgiving-meal thing and headed out for a small turkey for two persons. Hahaha. Now we usually do Swedish waffles on Thanksgiving. Unless some nice American friend takes us in to help us through a real Thanksgiving meal.

I like the Thanksgiving holiday, family and friends gathering around the dinner table and eat and say thanks and share a (huge!) meal together. Not quite the more stressful Christmas when you have to make time for Santa, opening gifts, watching DonaldDuck (if your Swedish that is...). And when you're an alien it's a weekend with "no strings attached". No weird uncle Jim or crazy aunt Betty you have to invite or visit. We can just sail along and just enjoy for four days.

When everyone is filled up, they fall asleep and set the alarm clock and then head out to the stores early on the next day on what is called "The Black Friday" - the biggest sale of the year.

The days before The Black Friday the newspaper doubles in weight with all the ads and people start lining up before sunrise outside the stores. Almost like "mellandagsrean" in Sweden. Only more. And bigger. And - meaning you can buy all your Christmas gifts on sale BEFORE Christmas. That is if you want to shop with ten thousands of other people.

One thing I like to do is take a walk on Thanksgiving Day, passing by the nearby plaza on my way back home. Thanksgiving is the ONLY time a year when the stores are actually close. Walking along the closed stores and the completely empty huge parking lot is weird and very, very quiet... And that sure is special!


Annika said...

Hey! You've got it right on yet again! It is a lovely holiday, and you get so damned stuffed. I like the food though, a lot...But there has to be a sleeping pill in the turkey meat or something because I get so sleepy. OK, I know there is an explanation to that, something chemical, but still...
I avoid BLACK FRIDAY for all it is worth! Yes, at some places you can get in a 4 am and maybe get your hands on a camera for 60 bucks...Good deals like that. But not for me!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jacal,
Annika's right about the camera. I've done it. Actually it was 90 dollars for a digital camera. I thought it was crazy to be at the Target at 7 am but I'm still enjoying the camera!

cecilia said...

Hello you!
Jag hörde precis talas om Black Friday idag när jag var och *sh - viskar* vaxade bikinilinjen.... så jag har snappat upp lite lingo nu!!


JaCal said...

Hi Annika! I have never been out shopping on a Black Friday. Maybe I should... just for the experience... So what's the chemical explanation for getting sleepy after the Thanksgiving meal? Is it the turkey? Or the combination? I'm curious? Can that explain the headache you get after a Swedish smörgåsbord? ;-)

Hi Sara! I love American sales - they are true to their words - you can really save for real.

Hi Cecilia! Jag trodde länge att "Black Friday" betydde att det var "svart av folk i affärerna"...