Thanksgiving in Brooklyn
Letter from New York! Luise Müller describes the temptations of feasting and shopping.
Dec 10, 2015
On the fourth Thursday in November, an important family holiday is celebrated in the United States: Thanksgiving. When my roommate and I were doing last-minute grocery shopping Thursday around noon, the city was already quite empty. Many New Yorkers spend the entire Thanksgiving weekend out of town with their families. The rest – including us – spend the evening with friends, celebrating Friendsgiving.
We met in the afternoon and prepared food for dinner. We brought along Spanish tortillas, cheese-filled bread, and cider. The hostess roasted a turkey that will be served with jellied cranberry sauce. As usual on Thanksgiving, there is pumpkin pie for dessert.
The day after Thanksgiving is all about shopping – many chain stores and smaller shops lure customers with “unbeatable” discounts. Everyone tells me about the long lines at the stores and the legendary behavior of bargain hunters. I feel too lazy to go into town and join the spectacle, so I stay at home – without a bargain, but also without stress.
Incidentally, the Thanksgiving tradition is allegedly based on a harvest dinner shared in 1621 by a group of English Pilgrims from the Plymouth Colony and a group of native Wampanoag. For many Americans, Thanksgiving is an important holiday, in both a positive and a negative sense. Since 1970, the descendants of Wampanoag and other nations have been meeting every year for a National Day of Mourning, in remembrance of the crimes that were committed against their peoples since the arrival of the Pilgrim Fathers.