When you don’t live in America, Thanksgiving is a time when you invite everyone you know to cook something and bring it to one of the larger apartments. So last week I spent an evening cooking–Pete made bread and I made wild rice stuffing and a pumpkin pie–and we trekked over to a friend’s place. You get your traditional turkey and sweet potatoes, rogue local dishes, and things made by people who just want to show off (e.g. Pete and I, who made bread, pie and stuffing. We’re kinda jerks).

At this point in the year, November to December, almost everyone wants to see family, and a few people do. Those of us who don’t must rely on our friends. Instead of dinner with bothers, parents, aunts and uncles, you eat with co-workers, acquaintances and anyone who happens to be foreign. This is also the time of year when it is good to have friends from different countries: you get to celebrate all the holidays and enjoy the season instead of pining for home. Canadian Thanksgiving is fair game. Why not also have latkes for Hanukkah and lamb on Christmas? Celebrating everything helps create more community and keep tradition when you’re away from home.

I partook in my family’s usual steak dinner with a few friends on Thanksgiving day; it is quite luxurious to buy a bottle of wine, eat 12 ounces of steak and then a cheesecake. Then we had a second, larger dinner a few days later with all my colleagues. I am glad I have people I genuinely like to share the holiday with. It’s a good time to have as much food as you can get away with and collect friends like pokemon cards. So  Happy Thanksgiving, have dinner with some friends.

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