Saturday, December 7, 2013

An Indian's Full-Fledged Initiation Into the American Holiday Season

I apologize for taking so long to write this post. Work has been crazy! I've been working so many hours for so long it's completely exhausted me. We're now in the slow season and I'm still pulling 50-60 hours a is that slow??? Anyway, a few of you wanted to know about hubby's first Thanksgiving.

It started off as Thanksgiving anyway. In true American form it has ran into the Christmas season faster than we could keep up with. We made plans to visit my family. My mother and I split the cooking and preparations and between family and foster kids we had 12 people. Not too small, not too big. Hubby being the typical shy desi type seemed fine up until it came time to leave for my mothers and then he had a moment that I'm not sure I know how to explain.

He wanted to go but didn't at the same time. He wanted to drink and try and relax but I wouldn't allow it. I know it goes against what most Indians think of the west but I come from a very traditional family and drinking is not acceptable at any age, nor is showing up at their house intoxicated -even slightly! He threw his tantrum and I wasn't in the mood to argue so I ignored it and wound up leaving him at home alone with a warning. His disrespect of my family would not go unnoticed.

Call me cruel if you want, you can't enable this kind of behavior unless you want it to continue forever. Besides, I know my husband well enough to know that he was just nervous and hasn't yet figured out how to manage this feeling without an outburst. Giving him attention would only make him want to do it again. Since he rarely does this, I chose not to entertain it.

I got almost to my mothers house (20 minutes away) and he called me to say he wanted to go and that I should come get him. There were no hard feelings on behalf of either one of us, I turned around and went home and got him and I told my mother I had forgotten something.

We both got to my mothers and then things got really busy. Mom and I were in the kitchen cooking and preparing and setting things up. Guests were arriving and bringing in dishes they had prepared. Food was covering most of the kitchen. Hubby went and sat with my step-father who had put in home movies from the last 20 years. My only regret is I didn't realize what was going on in time to see hubby's reaction to the 90's clothes and hairstyles and what my mother and I both looked like back then LOL.

We had a huge dinner of which I meant to take pictures but after smelling food for so long everyone was diving in and the scene wasn't as pretty anymore. I'll try again at Christmas. We all ate and then went back to watch more old home movies. Then we all got to laugh at all the old hairstyles. My husband was surprised at some of the things we showed him, especially the busy streets during a street fair. There were people everywhere.

Then the evening approached and with this year being a serious Black Friday year, we decided to participate. The economy and timing was just such that the deals were unbeatable. Hubby got to see some real American craziness, scaled down from the big city variety. He thinks we're all crazy now hahaha! (Just kidding.)

The next morning I had to get up for work at 1:30 AM to go try to catch someone else shopping for Black Friday. Hubby decided he wanted to go with me so he drug himself out of bed and went. When we got to the house it was owned by a crazy Christmas fanatic. The woman has her own website and reports to have 1.5 million lights in her yard!! It was insane! Hubby had never seen anything like it.

There were so many decorations in the yard I'm certain you couldn't fit a human body between them to walk through and see them. It truly was tacky and really just looked like a sea of junk packed into too small of a space. Yes India, there are some people in America who go this nuts over Christmas. Here's a photo so you all can see the madness we saw.

She was actually putting up more lights and decorations all throughout the day!

By the time we got home we were both super tired and went to bed early. The shopping and Christmas craziness did not stop there though.

On Saturday we put up our Christmas tree and began wrapping gifts. Hubby was getting so excited. You could feel the energy radiating from him and he was all smiles. So now we've begun the cookie baking, we're still wrapping Christmas presents, we have stockings all along one wall and we're not done yet. No, I won't get anywhere close to 1.5 million lights but this will be a festive place very, very soon. I'll post some pictures for you soon.

We're about to head out to hubby's first American parade. I'll be blogging and posting pictures soon. We're planning on going to 2 parades, provided it doesn't snow tomorrow like they're saying it will. Let the excitement continue!!


  1. Alexandra MadhavanDecember 7, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    It is interesting to hear your story - after having read your posts about living in India and adjusting to life there, and then now the flip side of hearing how your hubby is adjusting to life in the US.
    American Thanksgiving is a lovely celebration, I remember when I was in school my college friends would always invite me to their families' house and it is one of my favorite memories.
    We are setting up our tree tomorrow :)

  2. Oh yeah, it has been a very eye-opening experience to watch him go through and deal with culture shock. I have a lot to write about and I'm hoping to be able to get it all put up here on the blog soon.