Growing up, Thanksgiving was always a time for the hundreds of thousands (or so it seemed) of my family members to get together under one roof to catch up, play capicu, drink the first batches of coquito, and most importantly eat a ton of pernil (and some turkey). Since, I didn’t live close to many of my family members; I always looked forward to Thanksgiving because we would always pick-up from where we last left off as if no time had passed.
I always thought that for most people Thanksgiving was a time for reflection on the past year and being thankful for all of life’s blessings. Yet, while my family and I do graciously reflect on life, we always try to celebrate Thanksgiving a lo grande by turning it into a full-blown day of laughter, music and amazing memories. So every year that meant that up until the wee hours of the morning, my cousins, uncles and I would have all out parrandas with congas, while my parents, tios y tias danced all night long. Although, by the end of the night (or morning) we were all sweaty from dancing, singing and playing, looking across the room and seeing everyone smiling is still a cherished memory.
When we weren’t dancing, my uncles would take over the familia with their crazy comedic rhetoric. Usually, as the night went on, the volume levels and the laughter inside the house DRASTICALLY increased. My tio Erwin would tell his one-liners that we heard every year, but never seemed to get old. My tio Ricky would tell military stories while all of my cousins, aunts, abuelos and friends of the family were the audience.
While I know that parrandas, capicu and uncontrollable laughter may not be the common “American” Thanksgiving experience, it was mine and I would never change it for the world.
What Thanksgiving memories do you cherish the most? How do they differ from some of your friends’ experiences? How are you going to make this Thanksgiving experience “A lo Grande”?
This article was sponsored by Buchanan’s Scotch Whiskey. Buchanan’s wishes you a happy Thanksgiving and remember, every a lo grande experience should be celebrated responsibly.