On Pilgrims and Buckled Shoes

When I first started dating the Other Half, I quickly came to realize he’d grown up in a completely different world. Even though it was just across the state. I come from a suburb of a major city, he comes from a small town founded by Dutch protestants.

My family is rather laid-back about holidays and family events. They’d rather spend Thanksgiving in their PJs watching the Lions lose than have a big family get-together (it helps that my family is tiny). The OH’s family, on the other hand, is HUGE so they have to plan the day down to the second – everyone is expected to be there, to bring food, to stay all day. If you miss one of the trifecta, you hear about it until the next Thanksgiving. (Oh do you hear about it!)

My first Thanksgiving with all 26 of them was more than overwhelming, it was bewildering. There was half an hour of prayer before we ate (well ok, maybe it just felt like it), there was religious talk and conservative values. There were expectations of behavior (they were not happy OH and I were living together). Talk about opposites.

So, needless to say, I had a lot to tell my family about my first experience there. Don’t get me wrong – everyone was wonderful. But it was like visiting a foreign country. The Dutch Reformed community is very tight knit, and most people, though they are 3rd and 4th generation Americans are still 100% Dutch!

So I proceeded to tell my sister about my visit. (I love my sister and she’s very smart, but sometimes I have to wonder…) And she says: “Were they wearing buckled shoes?”

I stared at her, completely at a loss. “Why would they be wearing buckled shoes?”

Completely earnest she answers, “Well, because they’re Pilgrims of course!”

Some how in her brain, she linked the OH’s family with Puritanism. She said I used that word once or twice in describing them. (I will firmly deny it to my grave!) I won’t mention that she asked if they came over on the Mayflower, this is bad enough *grin*

So, this Thanksgiving, we’re spending the day in our PJs with my parents. Maybe the Lions will win.

We’ll save next year for the Pilgrims.

Hope all my American readers have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!


  1. This entire Thanksgiving in November just seems so odd. It's too close to Christmas. Throws off the aura of things.

    I like my thanksgiving, celebrated in October. It breaks things up.

    It was never a big event for anyone that I know. It's great for the Turkey and all that, but never this huge family thing. I don't know anyone who flies home for Thanksgiving, for example. You save that for Christmas, or another time of the year when the weather is nicer (like summer holidays).

    Enjoy the PJ thanksgiving. I'll celebrate by cleaning out the basement storage unit.

  2. LOL! You poor thing, and I thought my in-laws were interesting. Have a nice, relaxing holiday this year. Go Lions!

  3. LOL — Krista. I think Thxgiving in October would be nice too – definitely break up the holidays a bit.

    Heather – Hope you have a wonderful holiday too. Hope your in-laws behave themselves! 🙂

  4. Wow–that's quite the difference! But then think of the experiences you have under your belt now that you might not otherwise have, right?

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse