Tagebuch: December/January 2008/2009

Dear Diary,

As an American, Thanksgiving is a holiday that I hold close to my heart. I’ve always preferred Thanksgiving to other holidays because it brought the togetherness of Christmas without the high-strung attitudes.

Childhood memories of deep-fried turkeys and 12-gauge shot guns are always at the forefront of my mind in the late fall season. There is nothing I enjoy more than a cold Thanksgiving afternoon spent outside with my family as we go through boxes of shotgun shells and crates of clay pigeons. Skeet shooting had always been somewhat of a fall tradition in my family. Target practice, you know, brings us together.

Now that I am far from home my thanksgivings have become much more subdued, and also more sentimental.

This year in Vienna, I ate what I would call a “pity dinner” prepared for students spending the holiday away from family. Eating foreign interpretations of traditional Thanksgiving dishes is bittersweet, a reminder of home and of just how far away from we really are.
The food did its job. While not as appetizing as grandma’s, I still spitefully ate enough to feed a small army, then promptly went home and went into a turkey induced coma attempting to forget the festivities I was missing back home.

I’ve made the best of my Thanksgivings abroad, going through the motions of a holiday centered on family togetherness while you are separated from them. Nothing will ever make me feel the spirit of thanksgiving more than a warm barrel of a 12-gauge over-under in my hands, the smell of gunpowder in the air, and the fun of good natured family competition. Fortunately, Christmas is just around the corner!

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