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Thanksgiving this month and a Silent Christmas next :]

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

I have always looked forward to November as it brings out the best in people and being American we have always celebrated Thanksgiving, even in Australia. Thanksgiving is celebrated in both Canada and the US as a holiday dedicated to being with family and friends to give thanks for all of the blessings received throughout the preceding year. I find it more cheerful than christmas as people are all happy and looking forward to the winter solstice and yuletide traditions; whatever your faith may be. It's also one of the few times a year that I can openly show my native heritage without fear of being shunned (the avatar I use is my name in Ojibwe).

I got the three kids and their partners coming here for T'giving. Got me a big ol' turkey, a pig, squash, yams, johnnycake, and all the trimmings. already baked pumpkin pies and a banana creme pie. (American pies are much better than those here, we use fruit not meat). I do miss the pheasant, caribou and rattlesnake though.

Come christmastime and everything changes ... it is by far the quickest holiday celebration of the year. From the time the kids drag the oldfolks out of bed, run down to the tree and start ripping open presents. Where's mine? Give me a present? What did you get me? Why does he have more presents than me? and ... It's the wrong color. It's too big, it's too small, it's too ... /different/ or I already have one of those. or that's not what I wanted. And all the joy and merry making leading up to the big day is gone in a flash. By 9am christmas is over and it's a long boring day of everything closed... sitting cooped up in the house quickly becomes: sit down, be quiet, don't hit your sister, pick up your toys, and pieces being hauled out with the trash. Then comes why haven't you done this that or the other. The constant bickering and utter disappointments.

This year, three of my (adult) children will be spending the hol's with their mother interstate; the other will be with her grandma in Oklahoma. I get to sleep in until the afternoon and spend the hols fixing the stuff that can't be done when their here ... re-oiling the staircase, re-sealing the slate floors. It's going to be the first nice quiet holiday I've had in 25 years. Can hardly wait.

I'll avail myself to care for those who come to BB during what is allegedly the loneliest time of the year. Some people don't like the solitude the way I do; I use it to recharge. But I'll be about to lend a hand ... if anyone might need it.


9 Replies 9

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hey SB

What a wonderful thread topic 🙂

You are the first person that has reflected on the peace and happiness of Thanksgiving since I came here in 1969 from Niagara Falls ONT.

Thats 45 years since I have heard someone even speak on the importance of Thanksgiving.

I miss Cherry Pie! Unfortunately it doesnt exist here. Banana Ice Cream is also non existent lol

Your avatar is from your native heritage 'Ojibwe'......Since there is no such thing as a dumb question SB, is that American Indian?...

I miss the snow and quality eggnog as well as Cherry Pie 🙂

Great thread!

my kindest. Paul

Hi SB and Paul,

Thanks for the thread SB. I recall as a child our Church used to have a Thanksgiving Service every spring. There would be a table out the front of the Church and people would place their produce on the table. The food then went to those who needed it.

It was a celebration and time of thanks to God for all that He provides. I haven't experienced that service in many years now. It is a shame really.

A little different from the Thanksgiving you have mentioned.

It must be interesting to notice the difference in cuisine from the USA and Canada to here in Australia.

We don't have pumpkin pies, but pumpkin scones used to be popular.

When we holidayed in the USA my husband wanted to send a car container of foods back to Australia!

Thanks for sharing Thanksgiving with us. I also enjoyed reading your story about Christmas Day proceedings!

As my sister would say, that was a hoot!

Cheers form Mrs. Dools

Hi Paul

Though we can find snow here in Oz, it's just not the same. I too miss the snow covered lands, and icy car parks. Watching the people struggle to push the shopping cart to their car, and not fall down whilst their feet slip on the ice. The crisp morning air, and having to dig the car out of the snow each morning before work. Spent a winter in warm sunny Winnepeg once ... where we had to plug in the car at night to keep the engine oil from freezing.

I remember going to Niagara Falls on my honeymoon, which is the honeymoon capital of the world. (but then you know that) Even got a certificate of the same from the tourist bureau. We went in January, watched the massive sheets of ice come flying off the falls and smash into a million splinters when it hit the rocks below.

The asiginaak (black hawk) is actually my spirit totem, where my Anishinaabe name is Agaaseni Waabishkigwan (Little White Feather). But I find here that if I use the symbolism for that, the AU/NZ people confuse it with the Kiwi's logo. I have the asiginaak totem above the threshold of my home, and other symbolism about the place. Since arriving in '88 only once has someone recognized them for what they are. To answer your question, yes native American; some Chippewa (great lakes region), some Arapahoe (rocky mountain region), and some Pawnee (central plains). Also have Irish, Scot, Welsh and Dutch, so I am a bit of a mutt.

@Mrs Dools, did you notice that for the past few years how the local Woolies and Coles are selling the American style pumpkins at Halloween? That's the very same pumpkin we use to make pumpkin pie. Just have to peel, clean, and freeze for a few weeks until T'giving comes around and it's time to bake pies. Or you could cheat and buy canned pumpkin from USAfoods online. The homemade stuff is better, but the can is better than nothing.

@Paul, somewhere I have my 3rd?-great-grandma's cherry pie recipe. I'll see if I can find it for you.


Community Member
Hey SB, Hey Paul, Hey Mrs D,

I agree with you both Paul & Mrs D, this is a great thread!

I really like hearing stories from people in different countries; having different back grounds, traditions - it's really wonderful to see. I have never experienced the snow, so I find it really quite incredible that you need to plug in your cars in to keep the oil from freezing. Cool. How does that work though? Do you have a little heater mounted on or in the oil sump? Or is like a like a tyre warmer scenario? This is quite fascinating.

Where I live, we are known for our cherries; cherry pie is so yum! I'd love to read your recipe too, SB?
Mrs D, I so hear you about our pumpkin scones and bread, especially when they come out the oven; a little bit (actually, a lot) of butter - yum! I've never tried eggnog - how do you guys make it? I'm actually hungry now writing about all this.

Mrs D, how wonderful for your church to give back to the community like you have. Wouldn't it be great if each 'block' had their own community garden? Vegetables are becoming expensive these days, it would really help plus it will build a network of friends I imagine.

SB, I'm glad Paul asked you about your heritage. I can relate and laugh (the mutt/mongrel part). Noongar - southwest WA dialect, English, Scot, Irish & Welsh; that's me. I have always loved Native American names, just beautiful. Pheasant, caribou and rattlesnake pie!? Wow. I love pheasant; never tried caribou - is it similar to deer? and rattle snake! I have eaten dugite and tiger snake and loved it, I wonder if it would be similar? Shut your eyes Mrs D!

Congratulations, too for becoming a Community Champion SB! Good stuff, you are very deserving of it 🙂

So nice to chat with you all but I must away, my son has cricket today - love watching him play cricket!


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi All,

V, I don't need to shut my eyes regarding the foods you have eaten. After all, I really like the taste of kangaroo meat! I've tried emu and crocodile as well. When in Vietnam I was given some roasted water beetles to munch on like one here would with peanuts.

I too am fascinated by different cultures, traditions, clothing, habits and religions.

My husband and I were just talking today about having DNA tests done to see where our ancestors are from. It would be very interesting. My Mum's ancestors came to Australia from Prussia in the mid 1800's. My Dad's from Wales. Who knows what else is mixed in there!

A friend in the Czech Republic asked me once to send her a traditional Australian doll in costume. I'm not being at all racist here, apart from a doll depicting an Australian Aboriginal, what else could I send her? Apart from an Aboriginal, what is a typical Australian?

Sometimes I wonder what my heritage really is. Funny thing is when my husband and I moved to this region 4 years ago, we bought a house close to a region where my Mum's ancestor's settled. I have a family history book that has names in it of people I have met since moving to this region. So in a funny way I am "home".

Hey V, hope the cricket match went well. Did your son's team make more than the Aussies? I hear the Aussie team are looking for new players!

Cheers all from Mrs. D

Hi SB, yes I have seen those pumpkins at Halloween time.

By the way, what is a Johnnycake?

@blondguy @V17 - I posted the cherry pie recipe in the What's Cooking... thread

@Dools - Johnnycake is sweet cornmeal (maize) gruel mixed with an egg and milk; then fried on a griddle. I am not sure why it is called called Johnnycake, but my grandpa used to say it was named after the Confederate soldiers 'cause that's all they ate and they were called "Johnny Reb"

Muchas gracias SB

I will copy & paste 🙂



Thanks for that. It is interesting to learn where the names of things come from.

A bit like our Anzac Biscuits on Anzac Day to remember the soldiers of from Australia and New Zealand in WW1.

The story I remember being told is that the oatmeal biscuits baked in Australia managed to stay fresh enough for them to reach the guys in the trenches of Europe's war.

Anyone else have anything to add to that? All comments welcomed.

Cheers from Mrs. Dools