My second Thanksgiving living in Chile and already it seems to me that I’m eternally living in a land with no holidays. It also seems that nothing provokes the holiday spirit in me anymore and though it used to be that the last Thursday in November marked the beginning of the splendid holiday season, now I have no idea which way is up because alas, today was just like any other day.
It goes beyond that though. Everything is skewed when it comes to the holidays. No Turkey, no pies, no cold outside, no football inside (not that I watched it but it was still on). There aren’t even any Hallmark stores (or type stores) with rolls of cute and decorative wrapping paper. There is no smell of pine or pumpkin spice or even cinnamon and did I mention today was just like any other day? Except in my case, it’s like any other day in what I recall August to be like back home.
I really don’t understand how people prep for the Christmas season here. Yes, I do see that decorations have been up since Halloween (which is slowly being celebrated more and more here in Chile) but when does the activity and the buzz start … you know – buzzing? I had the opportunity to be in a few malls this week but mostly what I noticed in terms of motivation to shop was women and men coming to buy graduation gifts and items to wear at a wedding. Wedding season is coming up and yes, December marks the end of the school year here. Hence the graduation gifts. It’s bogus (even if only in my head) and as a result, I can’t muster up the energy, let alone the will, to trek down to the storage room and dig out the plethora of Christmas decorations we own. No, I don’t in fact want to pull our fake Christmas tree out of the box it’s been living in for the last 11 months because it’s lacking the one thing that make Christmas trees fabulous – the pine smell. In fact, the plastic perfection of the tree only makes me miss the whole notion of a Charlie Brown Christmas tree all the more. You guessed it – they just don’t exist here.
However, despite my ranting here and despite the fact that I’m celebrating Thanksgiving day ALONE (G is out of town) I’m never so backwards as to not look back and reflect on all things I am thankful for this Thanksgiving. And following in last year’s tradition, I find it’s much more entertaining to ponder all that makes life grand, one picture at a time. (And don’t think I didn’t just notice how much more upbeat I sounded last year in comparison to this year’s missing Thanksgiving.)
So never mind the hoopla and the woe-is-me-I’ve-no-Thanksgiving-because-I-live-at-the-bottom-of-the-Earth rant … below is a pictorial at things I’m grateful for this Thanksgiving: