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Belly full of thanks
Thanksgiving 2004 in Dallas

December 1, 2004

I am Iranian born and my wife is born and raised American. We consider the holidays an opportunity to gather with our close relatives and friends; time to spend some quality time with our loved ones.

The Thanksgiving Day tradition in our family is for my wife's parents and siblings (my in-laws) to be guests in our Dallas home. The ritual begins the day before Thansgiving (Wednesday night) when all participants show up in our house and spend the night >>> Photo essay

Since our guest sleeping accomodations are limited, most of our Thanksgiving guests end up sleeping on sofas or in sleeping bags on the living room floor! But otherwise we all have lots of fun. Plus it gives us an excuse to clean our house once a year! (just kidding - huh)

We have a light dinner on Wednesday night and often go to a movie; always chosen by the kids! This year our kid went to his favorite movie with the grand mother and the rest of the adults went to a different show. Free babysitters are a gift from God!

Some years the Persian portion of the family (my sister and I or anyone else who is staying with us who is Iranian) spends a part of Wednesday night visiting some Iranian friends and/or relatives! On occasion we have gone to a local Persian restaurant on this night!

On Thanksgiving morning, we wake up to a light breakfast prepared by my mother-in-law and then we all bundle up and head downtown for the Dallas Turkey Trot. This is an annual charity walk/run organized by the Dallas YMCA to benefit local charities. More than 30,000 people participated this year, with their registration numbers on their chests, proudly walking in and around downtown Dallas.

One year we decided that although we had paid for Turkey Trot registration, we didn't want to deal with the crowd and ended up walking on a lakeside trail and away from the downtown crowds. That was lovely and we walked the same distance but everyone felt a little guilty and we haven't done that again! Ahhhh, pitty!

After the walk we visit the make shift food stands setup in the city plaza and get our bagful of free bananas, apples, oranges, yogurt drinks and other goodies donated by good-hearted businesses who sponsor this event.

On the way back to the house we're all smiles and think of nothing but the blessed feast of turkey, trimmings and pecan pies (among other goodies) that is waiting for our guilt-free bellies! Although in all other family gatherings in our house the main emphasis on food and drinks is Persian, we have kept our Thanksgiving a strictly American event although hot tea and pistachios somehow find their way to every Thanksgiving party! >>> Photo essay

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Ben Bagheri




Book of the day

Three volume box set of the Persian Book of Kings
Translated by Dick Davis

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