|Our first Thanksgiving with lemurs. A new tradition?|
From the beginning of our cruising life one of Maia’s biggest concerns was how we’d celebrate holidays. Her memories of celebrations at home had that kind of pumpkin-tinted-amber-glow that meant they were hard to live up to. So every (almost-missed) Thanksgiving or looming Halloween was a reason for angst. She wanted to know where we'd be, if we’d have people to celebrate with and if we'd find the right 'stuff' to make the holiday right. No matter how much we tried to reassure her that although each holiday would be different than previous ones it would still be special, she had her doubts.
|Waiting for the sun to set so boat to boat trick-or treating cold get under way|
And this past weekend (after finding a pumpkin in the market) she and her friend Rivers decided Halloween needed to coincide with the maximum number of available kids—rather than a date on the calendar. She surprised me even further when she made a couple of Day of the Dead dishes to share. Apparently the previously declared second-rate Halloweens spent in
Mexico had improved with nostalgia
and Day of the Dead was now a favourite holiday.
I had so many doubts the first year or two of cruising. I questioned if we were wrecking Maia’s childhood by being nomadic and embracing a sort of traveler’s hypocrisy where we lose our own traditions while simultaneously admiring cultures that are rich with their own. Happily though it seems the promise I made to Maia a couple of Halloweens ago: someday you will love this memory and be happy to have spent Halloween in a bunch of different countries, was actually accurate.
And this year, as kids from four different countries dressed up to trick-or-treat on boats from six different countries, followed by an improvised Canadian Thanksgiving (zebu roasts and pumpkin pie) on a beach with crews from seven different countries, I realized that both kids and traditions are resilient. That’s why they last (the traditions—the kids grow).
It turns out you can take a celebration around the world, introduce it to a diverse crowd, change it to suit the date and location and still have it feel as rich and meaningful as it was meant to.
I’m thankful for that.
|Traditional Thanksgiving fare: Pumpkin pie and roast zebu|