How to Californify your Thanksgiving dinner

A word, if I may, while we’re on the subject of Californication. Being from New England, where Thanksgiving was invented (hey, you’re welcome), I feel inclined to remain in touch with seasonal traditions. But I’ve lived here for a few years now, by choice, and I also want to keep an open mind.

Thanksgiving celebrates gratitude for our harvests. To the average transplanted New Englander, accustomed to fruits and vegetables with the ashen, clammy flesh of ailing elderly relatives and a corresponding astringency of character, it’s not hard to be thankful for Central Valley produce. You just have to like avocados, is all; ask for a BLT, get ABLT and be grateful.

So it should be with the Cali-style Thanksgiving: As nature propagates her bounty, so our nation propagates diversity—celebration, not trepidation, is in order. It’s just a matter of relaxing old traditions enough to receive the enrichments bestowed by new ones. To that end, I’ve jotted down a few notes to self in order to aid my own ongoing assimilation. Tell me how I’m doing here.

1. Instead of cranberry sauce, avocado

2. Instead of gravy, guacamole

3. Instead of thyme or sage, marijuana

4. Instead of your fucked-up family, somebody else’s

5. Instead of making fun of people who eat Tofurky, asking them politely for seconds

6. Instead of football, the Raiders

7. Instead of raking and jumping into leaf piles, waking neighbors and spreading dust with leaf blowers

8. Instead of a post-feast nap, a new tattoo

9. Instead of activities requiring electricity or gasoline, guilt

10. Instead of eggnog, guacamole