I am an American by choice but Canadian by birth. That means I grew up with Thanksgiving in October and a pageantry nowhere near what it is in the U.S. In fact, I happened to be in Vancouver for Canadian Thanksgiving last month and would not even have noticed if Tim Horton's hadn't been offering some gimmicky Thanksgiving special.
When I moved to New York, the balloons for the Macy's Day Parade were set up down the street from me. I loved the crowds that would gather to see them for two days beforehand, the same crowds that most New Yorkers loathed. I would wake up at the crack of dawn in order to visit the bodega to buy snacks and coffee, then plant myself on the curb to watch the parade. Even though I had no place to go for the actual meal, I felt like I had celebrated by taking part in a proud tradition.