For the last few years, the community ministry at St Bart’s has augmented their regular activities (running the soup kitchen, homeless shelter and food pantry) with a gala dinner held on the day after Thanksgiving. Entitled Fare Share Friday, this event sees the church transformed into a banqueting hall, with a turkey dinner catered by some of the grand midtown hotels.
In an attempt to banish my really-not ready-for-it-to-be-December-yet feeling, I should finally get around to writing about Thanksgiving. Obviously this is not a holiday we had any previous experience of celebrating, but we’re very much in favour of cooking and eating extravagant meals so have enjoyed getting into the Thanksgiving habit over the last few years. So much has happened since I wrote about our first one here in the US, including meeting all sorts of lovely people who are happy to trek across to Hoboken to join us for dinner, and this year we had a lot of fun preparing and sharing a feast with some good friends.
When Tom read my last New York post, about all the fun things we got up to with our recent visitor, he suggested that I was making our lives sound far more glamorous than they really are. I certainly don’t invent any of this stuff – we genuinely do go for rooftop cocktails, visit museums, enjoy walking tours, and so on – but of course the majority of our time is usually taken up with far more mundane things. I imagine you knew that already, but just in case I have deceived you into thinking that we live a more glamorous or exotic life than is really the case, I thought an account of our Thanksgiving weekend might present a more balanced view…
This year I learned that Thanksgiving became a formal public holiday under Abraham Lincoln, as a kind of combination harvest festival and national day. Puritans and Indians notwithstanding, I was pleased to see a contemporary interpretation of the intentions laid out by Lincoln as people turned to social media (as well as, presumably, more traditional channels) to highlight all kinds of things about which they were feeling thankful. This in turn reminded me that even though life has been feeling a little routine of late (hence the recent lack of updates) we do indeed have a great deal to be thankful for.