Thanksgiving in our family is like, my mom’s holiday cuz we divvy up the holidays. So we gather for thanksgiving, and we’ll have the normal stuff, turkey, stuffing, the commonplace stuff for thanksgiving. But a lot of our family keeps decently kosher because they’re more strictly Jewish than I am, so there’s a few of us in the family who aren’t as strict Jews. So the Sunday or Saturday after thanksgiving, or after Passover if I’m in town, then we’ll have two or three people in the family over, and we’ll get this big honey-baked ham, and we eat boxes of cinnamon apples, and really good mac-n-cheese blend that they make, and we put it in the oven with shrimp and Langostinos, doctor up a big meal, and have a second thanksgiving that’s the opposite of Jewish and the big family thing. It’s like the small, intimate thing without any drama. It’s our second little holiday for each little grouping.
This is a way to create a tradition around going against the older tradition. In the way that much folklore is created by oppressed groups to push back against authority, so too does this family tradition have its roots in pushing back against the larger family traditions. Not to say that participants feel oppressed by the traditional meals/jewish festivities, but this is a way to bring together the other outliers in a celebration of what is not permitted at the larger party. It’s a fun way to get together and do something slightly naughty in celebration of the larger tradition without having to adhere to all the strictures dictated by the larger group. Good way to spend time with the smaller subdivision of family that he aligns himself with. Funny way to celebrate the holidays and family while making light/poking fun of the older strictures and restrictive practices that is part of their family heritage.