Thanksgiving is here already?

A Turkey.
Image via Wikipedia

One thing that happens when you live in China for a decent length of time is that you begin to stop celebrating the American Holidays.  Not because you want to stop but you begin to just forget.

Thanksgiving will be here soon and although you guys in America have all the commercials and the decorations everywhere reminding you that Thanksgiving is near, in China there is nothing.   No inkling that there is a big eating festival about to begin on the other side of the world.

Now, I would have completely forgotten about Thanksgiving this year if it had not been for my fellow co-workers and foreign teachers… One just happens to be from Boston… and the other England…. so the fellow American asked me .. “what are we all doing for Thanksgiving?”

I was kind of surprised at the question because the holiday had not even crossed my mind… He started listing all the traditional Thanksgiving fare his mother cooks every year and asked me if we could find any of it in China.   The answer was .. No…

In China .. there is no Turkey, (and if you by chance find one…there is no oven to be found so cooking it would be an issue). I am sure if I tried hard enough I could create a version of stuffing from scratch, sweet potatoes, green beans..(not the casserole.. we don’t have those crispy onion things), corn and basically any of your vegetables … but the taste wouldn’t be what you think and for sure the way to cook it would not be even close.

I guess having Thanksgiving in China would really be like the Pilgrims and the Native Americans.  I feel a need to attempt to create some sort of dinner for my co-workers since they are all feeling so homesick and missing their families on this holiday.

I also miss my family at this time.. my kids … fighting over what kind of pie they want.. My brother hogging all the Turkey then falling asleep… My aunt and uncle bringing over the butter crumb cake that we all love and I tried to take the biggest piece.  Even my cousins and all the stupid family board games we always play.

I do miss .. Thanksgiving  and the family traditions… However, somethings have to change… and I am here in a country where… Thanksgiving is just another day of work… as with Christmas, Halloween, and the 4th of July.

I guess.. I need to start my own traditions for these holidays… so I do not forget them.

I guess as an educator.. I need to educate these folks about MY holidays… and make them start celebrating… who knows.. maybe someone can come up with at “Big fire Chicken” (that is what they call a turkey) … and we all have a big feast.

Either way.. I will do something even if it is to go to a restaurant and just all eat together … Honestly.. the holiday is not about the special food…. it is about being Thankful right?  and I am thankful for many things.


until next time….


8 thoughts on “Thanksgiving is here already?

  1. jackie

    Just a thought–you can buy an oven in China. We bought one awhile back and it has virtually changed my life. It’s still not easy to get all the ingredients you need, but at least you can roast chickens and other meat in there, make baked potatoes or baked sweet potatoes and such. They usually cost around 400 RMB. Well worth the money, I think.

    Sorry for the late comments. Don’t know why but for the last few months whenever I tried reading your blog it was blocked. May just be because the school I live in blocks even more than just China in general. And now I am away from the school for a couple of weeks so am catching up.

    All the best!

      1. jackie

        The ovens you buy in China will fit on your counter top. It’s like an over-sized toaster oven, but with much more accurate temperature, so you can bake whatever you want in there.

        You can buy them in any store that sells electronics: they should be near the microwaves and other cooking gadgets. Where I live we have Suning Dianqi (苏宁电)器,Guo Mei Dianqi (国美电器),those are big chain stores that you probably have too. In Chinese oven is kao3 xiang1 (烤箱).

        Having an oven, at least if you can’t buy what you want to eat you can attempt to make it yourself.

        Also toaster ovens are widely available in China (we bought ours at a big department store) and you can do small baking in that, plus make toast! The big department store also might have the oven.

        1. My city is kind of small… so I would probably have to travel to Shanghai to get one… however… that would be a trip in a half on a bus or train… but i will see what I can find… it i can get a counter top oven it is better than nothing.. although… i dont have any counters.. i can put it on my table.

  2. Avastacia

    the chinese (and other asian/ non asian people) in america have brought their traditions over the sea and still celebrate them over here (i.e. chinese new year, obon, st. paddy’s day, cinco de mayo, day of the dead, la quincenera, etc) so why can’t you do the same? who says that a thanksgiving dinner HAS to have turkey? you’re in china, so have duck instead(and other traditional chinese fare)! and besides, considering all that YOU’VE sacrificed, you deserve a little reminder of home by way of certain american traditions; it should be a trade-off: if you celebrate chinese holidays, then your hubby should be willing to celebrate a few american (aka “western”) holidays. just sayin’.

    … and by the way, do they celebrate christmas over there? just curious *^_^*

    1. actually they do celebrate christmas.. but .. they dont give gifts.. someone told them.. that western people give apples for christmas… so every christmas.. i get all these damned apples….. Last year i explained christmas to them.. and told them that if they are going to bring me a gift.. make a real gift… anyone brings apples.. I will throw it at them…hehehehe…. they try to put up a little Charlie brown tree… with a bulb and a light…. it is like they take some of the holiday.. but now all of it. so it is kind of half-ass…. but they try.

      1. Avastacia

        lol, that apple part made me laugh so hard! apples are indeed a lame gift (to say the least), but at least they are thinking of you and that’s allways a good thing, right? but hey, c’est la vie, right? have a good thanksgiving *^_^*

  3. pearls

    That would be a great idea as an additional educational tool and incentive to incorporate American holidays into your curriculum since they are learning English!

    Hey…dinner at a restaurant in a 5-star hotel with American fare should bring you close to home. Like what you did a while back during the summer…I think for the 4th of July! I agree..the holiday is about being ‘Thankful’ surrounded by people you love and enjoy being with, while everyone does it around GOOD FOOD!

    Happy Thanksgiving Jo and Michael!

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