One unforeseen consequence of the spread of American culture is that many erstwhile American holidays are now celebrated around the world. For instance, Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day both developed into major events in the US, but now are celebrated in the American style in many countries. Then there are the holidays that weren’t truly American to begin with, namely the Christian holidays of Christmas and Easter, which are celebrated throughout the Christian parts of the world.
Of the big American holidays, that really leaves just the 4th of July and Thanksgiving as true American holidays. As a result, today is just another Thursday in Oslo. Everyone is at work, no big celebrations are planned, and there won’t be any football on TV.
Which all makes me feel ambivalent. On the one hand, I’m sad that I won’t get to experience those traditions this year. On the other hand, I’m thankful that we Americans get to keep this part of our culture as our own. In such a multicultural country as the US, it’s nice to have a uniquely American holiday to bring all the diverse groups together. After all, for one day a year, you can never get enough of the “hypersweet” sweet potato casserole with fluffy marshmallows on top, the cranberry sauce, or the perhaps-too-dry turkey. It’s enough to make you want to fall asleep on the couch watching football.
(But aren’t you having a makeup Thanksgiving in early December with your fiancee’s family? Yes, but it’s still not quite the same. And it would ruin the blog post.)
Here’s a gratuitous picture of a cartoon turkey: