I never liked Thanksgiving as a holiday. My parents weren’t into cooking or entertaining and family gatherings at the houses of other relatives were usually fraught with an undercurrent or atmosphere. When I got married and moved to Europe, it was a relief not to have to be part of that anymore. Because I’m not blonde and blue eyed, bouncy and loud nobody even pegged me for an American. Not that all Americans are that way, this is just the Dutch perception. Armenian, Russian, Turkish, Israeli, Portugese…it was fun to keep people guessing and surprise them with my real nationality. It gave me a sense of cool, being as it were an American incognito.
Then came September 11, 2001. On a terrible afternoon CET, the undeniable truth that I am American and will never be anything other than American hit me right between the eyes. It seemed the whole world was walking around with a hangover the next few months.
I was having a particularly miserable weekend when FOTI came up with a suggestion. A gathering of the clan. Solidarity. Sounded good to me, but where the hell was I going to get a turkey to feed that many people.
De Lutte. That’s where. Best turkeys in Overijssel. Every year since 2001. The World Traveler and I are picking it up on Saturday. Meanwhile we’re catching up on each other’s news and spending the afternoon putting together a Thanksgiving playlist for the weekend. I know it’s tomorrow for you all in the US, but we’re celebrating on Sunday.
Shake, Rattle & Roll – Jerry Lee Lewis version
Up at dawn to get dinner started…nothin’ like the Killer to get you going in the morning.
With a Little Help from My Friends – Joe Cocker
Guys! Kitchen! I need runners!
Once in A Lifetime – Talking Heads
My little Gordon Ramsay moment.
Love and Happiness – Al Green
All systems are go. Time for drinks.
Be Thankful for What You’ve Got – William DeVaughn
Good for pre-dinner drinks this is top range lounge music.
I’ll Take You There – The Staple Singers
Celebrate – Kool and the Gang
Kool is cool.
Teach Your Children – CSN & Y
See next song.
Libiamo – aka The Drinking Song from “La Traviata”
Ode to My Family – The Cranberries
I Just Want to Celebrate – Rare Earth
Lots to be thankful for this year.
Shower the People – James Taylor
Or just feed them. Feed them a lot.
Red Red Wine – UB40
For cousin Wessel.
Somebody to Love – Queen
Time to sing! Everybody join in!
Thank You for Letting Me Be Myself Again – Sly and the Family Stone
Don’t be afraid to sing. We are all family here.
One World – Todd Rundgren
Incense and Peppermints – The Strawberry Alarmclock
After dinner mood music.
Dancing in the Moonlight – King Harvest
Come on Wes, let’s shag baby!
Thanks for Saving My Life – Billy Paul
Love can Make You Happy – Mercy
Put de Lime in de Coconut – Harry Nilsson
Where Rolaids and Bromo fail, there’s always Nilsson as a last resort.
Sowing the Seeds of Love – Tears for Fears
Making plans for next year.
Get Together – The Youngbloods
We Are Family – Sister Sledge
And I really love you guys.
Stay – Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs
...as long as you want but turn out the lights and lock up before you go. I’m hitting the hay.