Friday, November 25, 2011

thanksgiving days of old...

So today is officially Thankgiving in Taiwan, well for me the day is almost over while back in the States, Thanksgiving has just started. I think for me the fact that I've never been a big fan of American holidays makes it easier for me when they occur. I've read a lot of blogs where ex-pats talk about how during the holidays, Thanksgiving or Christmas, they miss their family and all the festivities they had. Well for me, my family never really celebrated these holidays very much so I don't have much to miss. Of course when we were younger and believed in Santa, my mom would humor us with decorations and what not but not knowing the stories of Santa, she just put the presents under the fake plastic palm tree right in front of us. Bursted all the dreams and bubbles I had of Santa being real. Thanksgiving was pretty much the same, I don't think she had any idea what Thanksgiving is all about, just that we didn't have to go to school and everyone ate turkey. Our house isn't a big fan of turkey and we rarely celebrated Thanksgiving. For us it was just regular ol' Asian food and watching tv.

I do remember that my family did celebrate Thanksgiving with an actual Thanksgiving dinner twice in my life and it was with my cousin and her family. It was pretty nice because we actually had a turkey, which barely anyone touched, and a whole bunch of seafood. I feel like that is how the Cantonese celebrate holidays either with only vegetarian dishes or with copious amounts of seafood! None of the other traditional Thanksgiving dinner items made it onto our table, unless you count the instant mashed potatoes procured by my sisters.

While in college I never went back home for Thanksgiving because we would only get a 4-day weekend which wasn't long enough in my opinion to make the trip worth it to go back to San Francisco. My parents still had to work and the fact that they don't celebrate it was pretty much all the motivation I needed not to bother leaving San Diego. Pretty harsh but I was a child and enjoying the freedom college gave me. I've had some pretty interesting Thanksgiving Dinners in college tho, mostly Asian food and "home cooked" by moi.

The most memorable Thanksgiving for me would be the one I had last year in 2010. By then my sister Mal was living in Los Angeles and we decided we should surprise my parents with a visit for Thanksgiving. At this point it was almost half a year since I had seen my family which was at my graduation ceremony. We had decided to drive up because no way were we paying an arm and a leg for airplane tickets during Thanksgiving. The traffic was horrible. We literally just sat on the highway for hours and hours. Note to self, next time plan to leave earlier. So we ended up getting home really late but it was totally worth it. My mom was super excited when my sister walks into her room but she literally screamed when she saw me right behind her. My sister goes back more often than I do unlike myself the ungrateful one. I love doing surprises like this on my parents. It never gets old but now they are always suspicious. One time I was 3-way chatting with my sister and my mom on the phone and my mom was convinced we were together and heading home or some such craziness. Lol. Thanksgiving of 2010 was spent hanging with my family all day and decorating our first Christmas tree in the Lau residence. Fake tree of course. It was a whole family event, had to drag our dad out of bed and away from his tv, but we did it! Took awhile to find our old Christmas ornaments since its been such a long time since we've used them. All the handmade ones from elementary school brought back good memories and just messing around with my family was pretty awesome. 

thanksgiving 2010

family pyramid!
The family who hangs together wears sweatshirts together. After this we stayed up till 4am playing Jenga, Monopoly and of course Mahjong. Writing this post has accomplished what the holiday hasn't, making me miss my family. Must remember to Skype them later.

Thanksgiving in Taiwan is pretty much just any other school day. I'm pretty sure no one even said Happy Thanksgiving to me at work. I didn't either I totally forgot about it until the end of the night. I hope everyone is having a wonderful Thanksgiving and eating some awesome food!


  1. We never believed in Santa. At least, I didn't. I only heard the stories AFTER I had already witnessed Mom putting our presents under the tree. Plus, our fireplace was blocked off..