Collecting holidays

It’s Turkey Day in America – the day we set aside for feasting and thankfulness. Today, our family is gathering with two others to celebrate and be thankful.
When we lived abroad in Southeast Asia, we chose to celebrate Thanksgiving, typically gathering with other expats, even though it wasn’t a local holiday. Some might think this an example of “not localizing,” but I don’t think there’s any shame in collecting meaningful holidays.
We don’t go out of our way to celebrate Chinese New Year and Dewali here in the States, but we’re very aware of them and appreciate them. We have found ourselves in Asian markets on Chinese New Year and picked up some “holiday” food similar to things we ate in Asia. It wasn’t quite as good but it stirred the memories, and that was good.
I know not every holiday has great origins – people debate the beginnings of Thanksgiving and Christmas, and the history behind them – but to me, holidays are what your family makes of them. Holidays can be redeemed in meaning; new “personal” meanings can be written; they can become meaningful; they can be celebrated in other places.
The most important part about a holiday is the memories you re-share and the new memories and relationships you forge, anyway.