Thanksgiving at home

My niece and nephew

My niece and nephew

It seems surreal, but I am getting ready to celebrate my first Thanksgiving at home in several years.

For all my international friends, Thanksgiving is the American holiday where you give thanks and remember the pilgrims that first came to America and struggled to start a new life. We do this by eating ourselves into a coma-like state and oozing into a recliner to watch football all day. There we sit, uttering only a few grunts and slobbering noises as the turkey saturates into our blood.

Time looses all meaning as our hearts struggle to pump the gooey substance around our bodies that once was blood. People misinterpret the warm, euphoric feeling as satisfaction, when in reality it is death by turkey poisoning shutting down their body’s vital systems one by one.

This is my first Thanksgiving at home since I began traveling and to be honest, I am excited! In 2006, I was in Egypt. Last year I was on the island of Ko Lanta off the west coast of Thailand. I suppose I could have been in worst places, but I did miss the feasting and inevitable regret after eating so much. Its going to feel good to be with the family this year.

I know my niece and nephew (pictured above) are excited to have their black sheep uncle home. I’m also excited at the opportunity of allowing a slow build-up to Christmas, unlike years past. Christmas is a strange thing for me, the rampant capitalism makes me want to go for a drive into a charming river somewhere – but if I have time to slowly get into the “spirit” I actually love the holidays.

In 2006 I went from hearing Arabic and sweating in shorts to being bombarded by eggnog, flashing lights, and insane shoppers literally overnight. I had the usual reverse-culture shock x10 thanks to having to fight my way into a bustling mall to pick up gifts just days before Christmas. When they played Rudolph the rednosed reindeer for the third time, I nearly went into a violent frenzy and had to be escorted out.

Hopefully with time to slowly prepare myself, this year will be different. I actually have time to pick up a few gifts and might actually enjoy hearing some traditional Christmas tune without my eyes glassing over and willing to sacrifice a kidney to be standing in the sand again.

In Cambodia, the price of rat meat has jumped 317% due to inflation. (if only I would have known I would have invested heavily in rats – jk) No matter if you celebrate the holidays by eating enough to scare Jabba the Hut, there is always something to be thankful for. Not only do we get to eat turkey instead of rat, no one is shoving an AK up our bottoms as we try to buy it.

This year I will be thinking of all the travelers and soldiers away from their families for Thanksgiving, my heart goes out for them and I’ll be sure to drink an extra eggnog or two on their behalf. 🙂

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