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Thanksgiving Tales: True Stories of the Holiday in America
by:Brian D. Jaffe
Not every Thanksgiving in America is a folk-art painting. They are as varied as Americans themselves, and run the spectrum of emotion and experience - from as rural as watching Grandma slaughter the holiday bird by the barn, to the traditional with family football games in the yard, and to the modern with multicultural meals complete with eggrolls. In...
Not every Thanksgiving in America is a folk-art painting. They are as varied as Americans themselves, and run the spectrum of emotion and experience - from as rural as watching Grandma slaughter the holiday bird by the barn, to the traditional with family football games in the yard, and to the modern with multicultural meals complete with eggrolls. In Thanksgiving Tales: True Stories of the Holiday in America, 48 writers from across the United States share their individual stories and memories. But, whether held in a country farmhouse, amid the frantic pace of New York City, or in a restaurant, there are a number of common elements. It is a holiday for everyone - regardless of whether your family came here via the Mayflower, Ellis Island, international airport, or any other way. It is a holiday steeped in traditions (whether faithfully followed, radically ignored, or adapted to individual circumstances), memories and images. These stories reveal how seemingly simple things - like the passing of a tradition to the next generation, sitting next to Grandpa, favorite foods and recipes, or certain sounds, sights, and smells - can have special meaning and leave warm and indelible memories. Some of the stories describe the chaos and mishaps of meal preparation, family arguments and first-time hosts-all crises then, but now looked upon with laughter. Other stories recount family traditions, meaningful moments, memorable guests and hosts, remembering those no longer with us, being alone, or out-and-out hating the holiday. Thanksgiving Tales is a reflection of Americans, as much as it is a look at the holiday. It is a testament to the importance of the holiday that Americans will go to great lengths for Thanksgiving - spending money to travel long distances or taking days to prepare meals, sometimes only to find themselves seated next to the weird cousin or sick all night from bacteria-laden food. Yet, it's done all over again the next year.
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