photo: iStock

I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving.

It’s not that I’m a vegetarian standing up for turkey’s rights — I eat plenty of turkey — nor is it some kind of stance against pilgrims, the Mayflower, or giving thanks. I’m actually trying to give thanks more often. Thank you, dear reader, for clicking on my post.

Honestly, I've just never given it much thought. I’m from Venezuela, Thanksgiving is not a holiday there, that’s it. This, though, is apparently more of a shock to people than I realized. “So what do you do on Thanksgiving then?” they ask, a solitary tear gliding down their cheek.

Related From Vivala: Yes, You Can Eat Thanksgiving Dinner Even If You're on a Diet

I travel, like most people, just not to see my family and eat a pants-ripping amount of food.

I like Thanksgiving and what it stands for, it’s just that for me the time to be with family, eat turkey, ignore the extremely conservative uncle’s rants and field questions about my relationship status has always been, well, Christmas. I go back to Venezuela every year in December and enjoy time with my grandmother over some kickass turkey and mashed potatoes, and maybe some hallacas (google it). So I’ve never adopted the typical American Thanksgiving.

As a child I spent seven years living in Washington, D.C., and my parents did usually have some kind of Thanksgiving. We'd eat, my sister made a paper turkey that stood proudly on our table as a centerpiece, and my parents' Venezuelan friends would come over. But after we moved back, it just never stuck.

There are other American traditions that I’ve grown to love, mainly Halloween in New York City. I take my costumes seriously and plan weeks in advance. It’s pretty difficult to ignore Halloween in a city that makes it a weeklong event. Thanksgiving is just a whole other vibe.

Related from Vivala: 8 Things You'll Only See at a Latino Thanksgiving Dinner

This year I’m visiting a friend in San Francisco and we’re driving down to L.A. We’re aware it’s Thanksgiving, and given that on Thursday we’re going to be in Santa Barbara, we decided to go out and have Thanksgiving drinks, though, this will probably happen most other days of the trip as well. 

And since we're on the subject of American traditions I've failed to assimilate to, here is a full fall disclosure: I’ve never had a pumpkin spice latte.