So it’s a week until Thanksgiving in the US, a holiday which has always fascinated me as an Aussie, as it’s one of the holidays that we don’t celebrate here in Australia. For every Facebook post I see about the colours of Fall, or “I’m so glad we live in a world of Octobers” or celebrating pumpkin spice lattes, I’m here in my corner of the world going “I’m glad for Octobers too, because it’s Spring here, and look at all these lovely flowers as we head into Summer and the Christmas season!”
But while Aussies don’t celebrate Thanksgiving (because 1. not part of our history, and 2. wrong season for harvest) I do think it’s a fabulous thing to pause and be with family and friends and be thankful. My sister lives in Canada, so I’ve had the pleasure of celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving a couple of times, and it’s like a mini-Christmas to me with the food and family and sense of occasion – just minus the presents.
Having read a lot of Christian fiction, it got me thinking about how holidays are celebrated in various books. One of my favorite CCR books, Becky Wade’s My Stubborn Heart, describes a family’s Thanksgiving celebration, which somehow translated into my purchasing a board game I’d never heard of until that moment. (Rummikub, for those who need to know, which has since turned into one of my fave games I make my family play!) It’s funny how fiction can influence us into such things, isn’t it?
I remember reading some Dee Henderson books with July 4th celebrations, which again gave some insight into a culture different to mine. In my upcoming release Muskoka Blue I have a scene where the town celebrates Canada Day, my research suggesting it is somewhat similar to how we celebrate Australia Day (January 26) here in my part of the world: summer, parades, stalls, food, citizenship awards and ceremonies, music and entertainment, all concluding with fireworks.
Here in Australia we also tend to make a bit of a big deal out of Easter, as Good Friday is a public holiday which means a lot of people like to go away for a few days and gorge on chocolate eggs and hot cross buns (thanks to our English heritage). I enjoy including such things in my books, so I made sure that some Aussie Christmas (summer! prawns! pavlova! beach!) and Easter traditions get a mention in my upcoming release, Love on Ice. This book also mentions an Aussie’s observations of a white Christmas (something I personally can’t wait to experience one day!) along with Canadian Thanksgiving, as my Aussie skater experiences North American hospitality in Calgary. I think it’s fascinating to learn a little more about the holiday traditions of different countries in fiction, which leads me to ask this question.
What holidays / holiday traditions have you read about in Christian contemporary fiction? Are there any holidays you would like to see mentioned? And have you ever read a novel and been inspired to try something new (like I was with Rummikub)? Sharing is caring! I look forward to seeing your answers soon.