Life Stories

I never celebrated a traditional Thanksgiving until recently

Who said you need to celebrate a conventional Thanksgiving dinner?

Thanksgiving Day comes every day. A traditional family would sit down with all their relatives and enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving feast filled with mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and of course, a turkey. But it wasn’t until recently that my family actually started celebrating this holiday the traditional way.

Growing up as Pakistani Americans, it’s obvious that we didn’t adopt typical American traditions. We never really celebrated Easter, and of course not Christmas. But Thanksgiving is a pretty universal holiday, so why didn’t we celebrate it the conventional way? To begin with, I don’t think my parents really knew what a traditional Thanksgiving consisted of. We don’t have large family get togethers and certainly didn’t have a typical feast.

Heck, I remember one of our past Thanksgivings was spent on the road the day we drove back from our trip to Las Vegas. It was pretty depressing to say the least. Imagine spending hours on the road to come home to nothing even remotely close to a Thanksgiving dinner. Instead we had to pick up fast food right as we approached home. Yikes.

Honestly, I like having Thanksgiving dinner. All of our family may not always get together, but there’s something about this day that evokes holiday spirit. Not to mention I love getting ready in my fall clothes and really getting into the vibe.

We didn’t really have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner until a 2-3 years ago when a close family friend held a party and invited us. It was a huge Desi party. It was pretty weird. It was basically a very traditional Thanksgiving feast with a touch of South Asian culture integrated into it. But it was awesome, and I’ve loved Thanksgiving ever since.

Although I didn’t really care for it when I was younger, ever since that unusual Desi-Thanksgiving happened, I thoroughly enjoy a traditional feast. I mean how often do you get to sit down and appreciate what you have and have these typical foods? Whether or not we should actually be celebrating Thanksgiving due to its history is a completely other story though…

Now, we have pretty family-oriented Thanksgiving dinners. My two cousins and aunt and uncle join my family of four and we have a cute little evening together. This year’s Thanksgiving is looking exactly like that, except with the addition of a new family member: my sister-in-law.

I’m not gonna lie, I don’t LOVE family get togethers like these because of the amount of questions I’m going to get asked at the dinner table, especially since I’m a senior in high school. Like please I’d rather enjoy this piece of turkey instead of talking about college applications all night. Please.

Overall, I like Thanksgiving. I especially like getting all dressed up and enjoying some time with family. Plus I get a whole week off from school. Let’s just hope I don’t get flooded with questions about school this year.