That’s right, I’m thankful for Thanksgiving! Being an American while living in other countries and cultures can quite often lead to loosing some of your own culture and traditions and adopting others. I’ve actually done this a lot in the various places I’ve lived, but the one thing that does not change or alter one bit is Thanksgiving!
No matter where you are in the world, or who you are with, on Thanksgiving there is probably a 99.9% chance that you are thinking/dreaming/longing for Turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberries, Yams, and that oh-so-coveted PUMPKIN PIE!
It’s the one day of the year that all Americans come together, near and far, and celebrate our Thankfulness via a huge FEAST. Everything about Thanksgiving day makes me happy (and run to put on some sweat-pants), and if you’re like me and from Michigan, then there’s the bonus delight of watching our beloved Lions loose yet again 🙂
Ode to Thanksgiving…. the only holiday that makes me remember I am actually an American (which I tend to overlook 364 days of the year), and reminds me that I have SO MUCH in life to be truly thankful for!
NOW GO STUFF YOURSELF SILLY…. and remember not to wear jeans to the dinner table!
This month has been one big holiday… first Rosh HaShana then Yom Kippur, and now Sukkot. Last year at this time I was in my old apartment in Ramat Gan, and my flat-mate turned our varanda into a beautiful Sukkah. This year I have no varanda, so I wasn’t really going to do anything for Sukkot until inspiration struck early this morning.
The sukkah is a temporary dwelling of remembrance (click here to read last years post explaining the meaning and origin of this Jewish Holiday); therefore, I’m making my temporary dwelling in my living room….
Mine is far from professional, but if you’re interested in one that is, take a fast forward look into building an outside sukkah:
Chag Semeach Everyone!!! חג סוכות שמח!
I took everyone’s advice in order to get a little Christmas Spirit Spring back in my step, and went to the only place in Tel Aviv where one can find Christmas Goodies: The Central Bus Station!
Now, on any given day, one does not simple go to The Central Bus Station to “hang out“. Its dirty, disgusting, urine-smelling, and just plain gross. Unfortunately, because of where I work, I am there quite often and have become immune to the filth. It is also the center hub for anything CHEAP! Clothes, food, jewelry…the list goes on and on. BUT, during the one time of year that I love most, it also happens to be the hub for Christmas.
The Russians take over a small area on the bottom floor and turn it into a Winter Wonderland. This is where I got my Charlie Brown Christmas Tree last year, and where I went today to pick up some more little ornaments for him. Actually, I should say its where I go whenever I need a kick of Christmas Cheer! (Russian Speaking Cheer that is) lol
For me the most difficult time of the year to be single is during the Holidays. Add on top of that my family and close friends living a million miles away, and it’s just downright depressing. I want to remain positive and in high spirits, but the truth is sometimes its just hard to get through the day. While everyone is putting up Christmas trees, decorating their houses, watching Christmas movies, and sipping on Egg Nog… I am over here in Anti-Christmas land just trying to catch a glimpse.
Yes, this is my calling and I gladly choose it…..but I just wish that he (my future husband) was here choosing it alongside me. Its been almost 10 years on the field alone, and I’m beyond ready for a change. There’s a Christmas song that Mariah Carey sings called, All I Want For Christmas Is You….. and its really, truly the one and only thing I want for Christmas this year.
I’m sending my Christmas list directly to Elohim this year, after all… Santa Claus doesn’t make stops in Israel (I think he knows where he’s not wanted). I mean, come on! This is the Holy Land, right? Shouldn’t our Christmas list requests be top priority??? hehehehe
I just wanted everyone to know that I’m freaking out a little on the inside about Thanksgiving this year (which we are celebrating on Fri. instead of Thurs… we don’t have Thurs. off here)
This is my 1st time EVER hosting and cooking Thanksgiving dinner, and I’m nervous. Add to that my turkey-experience today, and I’m almost at full-blown freak-out mode.
We bought our turkey at the shuk (Israeli market), which does not normally sell whole turkey, so I was pleasantly surprised when I found out we were able to get it.
The good news is that they DID de-feather and be-head him….the bad news is they did NOT do a good job. After my bloody bus ride home, lugging him with me across the city, and leaving a blood trail on the floor, I put him in the sink to wash him off. This is when I noticed that the neck was indeed included in the deal (stuffed inside) and there were remnants of feathers all over.
AHHHH! Let the freak-out begin. My first Thanksgiving cooking, and I have to begin by pulling out feather pieces. I will update you with pictures and details on how it went…. until then
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!
If any of you are wondering what to get me this year for Christmas, ponder no more! I’ve come up with a brilliant idea that will relinquish my craving for some holiday spirit.
Here’s the deal: There is NO Christmas here! No festive lights, no trees, no carolers caroling, no drummers drumming… and especially NO Christmas movies on TV. (Plus, I don’t even own a TV, so that doesn’t help me much).
In order to be somewhat connected with my Christmas roots, I own 2 Christmas movies:
- Elf (with Will Farrell)
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas (with Jim Carey)
Sadly to say, I’ve already watched them both. Soooooo, (drumroll) my brilliant idea is this…… if you are looking to buy your favorite Shine! ambassador a little something something for Christmas, look no more. I am a Christmas movie FANATIC, and there are many good ones to choose from (see last years poll of some fav’s here). Maybe Santa’s little helpers will surprise me with some holiday spirit this year 🙂
Tonight was the last night of the 7 day holiday celebrated in Israel called Sukkot. Since I was back in the States during the beginning of it, I missed out on the festivities my flat-mates held at our apartment.
During Sukkot (aka: The Feast of the Tabernacles found in Lev. 23:33-44) Israeli’s are called to remember the time in which the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years, with no permanent house dwelling. The word Sukkot is the plural form of the Hebrew word, Sukka, which means booth or hut, in remembrance of the fragile dwellings the Israelites lived in during these times.
My flat-mate turned our varanda into a sukka, which technically we are supposed to eat and sleep under. I did eat under it (though I eat most of my meals on the varanda), but sleeping out there didn’t quite happen 🙂 I think she did a really good job, and I was pleasantly surprised, returning home to see our varanda all “sukkoted out”. (I really don’t think that is a word). hehehe
Happy Last day of Sukkot!