That first year we had duck. Duck??? Sure, I was disappointed but I was thankful just to be celebrating Thanksgiving. Did I mention that turkey is not a traditional meal in the Philippines? Our national dish is roast pig, better known as lechon, complete with an apple in the mouth. This is something you can't exactly cook in your backyard, so it's usually special ordered. I'm sure there were several Thanksgivings in my lifetime during which we had lechon, but it's the duck that sticks out.
My family has now been celebrating Thanksgiving for years and with a turkey, even! But because we're Filipino, rice accompanies every meal so we have rice instead of potatoes or sweet potato casserole, along with other traditional Filipino dishes like pancit and lumpia. I'm a little conflicted about the holiday itself, having come from a country that's been colonized several times over since the 16th century, including by the United States. Unlike the Native Americans, at least Filipinos "got" to keep their land. However, my family's celebration centers more around being thankful for family.
My husband was born and raised in the Midwest and is of German and English descent. His family celebrates Thanksgiving the "usual" way. Sometimes it's at his sister's in Minnesota, more often it's at his parents' in Iowa. My family lives in 3 different states out west and my sister, who also lives in Chicago, spends Thanksgiving with her husband's family in the suburbs.
Instead of traveling, my husband and I celebrate in our home, just the 2 of us, our little family of 2 (or 6, since the cats are family) with a pre-cooked turkey from Trader Joe's, stuffing, cranberry sauce, homemade mashed sweet potatoes and green bean casserole, and a frozen pumpkin pie. Is it unusual? Yes and no: yes, we have the typical Thanksgiving fare, though