Rather than either celebrating thankfulness for one holiday or sacrifice for the other, I think this year’s proximity of Thanksgiving and Eid al-Adha is an opportunity to recognize how complementary they are.
This year, like most, I stayed in New York, as visiting either parent is both expensive, and inpractical given the shortness of time. Medina and I hosted a Thanksgiving dinner, and invited anyone. To our surprise, we had 12 people show up, crowding our little 1-bedroom apartment in Queens. You could say that hosting such a dinner requires some sacrifice, albeit minuscule compared to the sacrifice asked of Ibrahim, but I think that falls short of recognizing the blessing.
Around 10am Thanksgiving morning, our friends Heather, Nic, and Ming showed up with a turkey, duck, and chicken, along with the ingredients of stuffing, and some other dishes. We worked together to make Turducken, along with a plethora of delectable side dishes.
It was a trying procedure, as we discovered pyrex glass can’t rest on the bottom of the oven, or else it explodes into shards of molten glass which can cut/burn/sear your bare feet. After eight hours of cooking, and seven runs to the grocery store, we had an amazing meal.
It was then when I realized what I am thankful; others’ sacrifice. Without those around me taking the time, it would have been a stressful process rather than a fun ordeal. As a product of everyone one digging in and making this happen, we had our own interfaith/international Thanksgiving here in Astoria, among a family of friends.