Early on in my journey in observance, I realized that Passover was not a holiday I could spend with my family. Every year the first Seder would be at my grandparentsâ€™ house and the second Seder would be at my temple. Although my temple was within walking distance of my house, my grandmaâ€™s house was not. That, and the fact that my parents werenâ€™t really expecting me to come home in the midst of finals. Iâ€™ve accepted not seeing my parents on any Shabbat or yom tov, save when they visit me at Penn. And Iâ€™m fine with that.
Thanksgiving, on the other hand, was one of the few holidays that I could spend at home with my family. For the past 10 or so years, weâ€™ve hosted our extended family for Thanksgiving, with our cousins from New Jersey, California, and sometimes even Guatemala coming to the meal. Usually there are over 20 people. This was convenient when I started keeping kosher, since my parents started keeping a kosher house and no one had to make any special arrangements for me. Plus, I got to stay in my own home,sleep in my own bed ans see my cats, whom I always miss.
I have a younger cousin, who just got accepted to Washington University in St. Louis, where sheâ€™ll be going next year. Sheâ€™s among the cousins who usually visit us for Thanksgiving. This year, however, her parents want to host Thanksgiving since this is the first time sheâ€™s been away from her family and they want her to be able to go home for her first school break. This is understandable, but when my mom told me this yesterday, I asked â€œWhat am I going to eat? And what about Shabbat?â€
As Iâ€™ve said before (in my article about my parents) whenever Iâ€™m in RI, I stay by frum families in Providence. But my cousins live in Palo Alto, California. I donâ€™t even know if thereâ€™s a community anywhere nearby. My cousins donâ€™t have a kosher kitchen and, as far as I know, they donâ€™t even know how to keep kosher(besides the basics of no milk and meat) since they, unlike my parents, were never raised keeping kosher. And of course, this would also mean not seeing my cats.
I know that this would be a good opportunity for me to do a kiddush Hashem if I can figure out a way to make this work without causing strife. I really love my cousins. I just have no clue what to do. Any advice?