I have learned over the years of living abroad to just take Thanksgiving Day off and turn it into my own little holiday. I hate working on Thanksgiving. It is the one day in the entire year when I yearn to be in step with my home culture. Maybe it's because it's the only holiday where most of the nation celebrates in very similar ways. We eat the same food, we share in similar traditions like football and table games, and perhaps most of all, it's a holiday dedicated to being together and giving thanks. So I enjoy taking the day, making the meal and sharing it with a unique group of people each year. We often try to have at least one person around our table who has never celebrated the American Thanksgiving tradition. It is a wonderful experience to introduce this custom to our global friends! This year, in addition to 2 other Americans, we shared our table with folks from Malawi, Ghana and Canada. Our friend from Ghana was experiencing her first Thanksgiving ever!
The Thanksgiving adventure always begins with finding all the right foods. Since I had been in the US in October I stocked up on some essentials so that made it pretty easy. Still, I had to go to three different stores to find my turkey and was lucky to find a 12 pounder. My oven is so small however, that one any bigger would not fit! I cook it breast side down and find that the meat stays nice and moist that way.
The food turned out great and we feasted and feasted until we could eat no more. That is, until we brought out the pumpkin and apple pies! Then we found a little more room for a few more bites!
Doug prepared a Thanksgiving Day quiz and because Thursday was a normal work day in Sweden, we didn't eat until 7.00 p.m. so we didn't have to worry about taking a Thanksgiving Day nap...we just went to bed when it was all over!
I enjoyed making the food, setting the table, and sharing in the meal with great friends. We thought of our families across the pond, gathering to celebrate in different ways and of course, wished they were with us. But we were happy to know that everyone was eating well on this special Thanksgiving Day. We have an abundant life and it is good to give thanks for all the riches we enjoy.
Note to self: Do not give an already prone to flatulence dog turkey scraps before you go to bed. Let's just say the delicious aromas from the day quickly disappeared as Tanner recycled them!