Ta, cheers, and thanks

November 28, 2013 at 3:54 pm 1 comment

Though it is only just Thanksgiving today, it has already come and gone for me. When I started planning our celebration months ago, I screwed up and thought Thanksgiving was last week so I had all our guests save the wrong weekend. Most were Brits so they didn’t give it a second thought. And in the end, it was fine. It’s not like we would be celebrating on the Thursday anyway since it’s not a holiday in the UK.

It was our sixth Thanksgiving in our home in England. Since being married, I have only celebrated Thanksgiving in the US once and that was 2006. (I looked back through my blog and found a post Scott had written about his first Thanksgiving. After reading the post, I found myself staring at the TV deep in thought. When I snapped out of it, Miley Cyrus’ video for Wrecking Ball was on and I realized I was tearing up. So many emotions.)

At our Thanksgiving dinner last weekend, I announced that in my family we usually go around the table and say what we are thankful for this year. I think the Brits were a little taken aback, but with copious amounts of wine already in their systems, they humored me.

By midnight, the party was over. By 10 am the next morning, all the leftovers were put away and all the dishes had been washed. By Monday, my Thanksgiving was a distant memory, with bandaged cuts and burns as my only reminders. Oh, and the writing on my hand that read, “Pie,” so I wouldn’t forget to bring in a pie dish for an American friend to use for her Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving injuries

Because I have the day off, I decided to walk into the town centre this morning to run errands. I took the opportunity to swing by Starbucks for my annual coffee. The Starbucks gods were watching out for me this year because they had eggnog in stock and I was finally able to order an eggnog latte. (Last year, I stopped at Starbucks no less than five times for one of those drinks and they were always out of eggnog.)

I got into a discussion with the barista about their new Christmas blend espresso. I feigned interest even though I am not a regular coffee drinker.

She asked, “Are you Canadian?”

“No,” I said. “I’m American.”

“Oh, it’s your Thanksgiving, isn’t it? That’s like your Christmas.”

I don’t know why, but so many people assume Thanksgiving is a bigger holiday than Christmas for Americans.

“No, it’s a common misconception,” I explained. “It’s a very big celebration but it’s definitely not bigger than Christmas. Not in my family or circle of friends anyway. We have the big turkey dinner which is what you would traditionally have for Christmas so I think that’s why people over here think it’s our Christmas, I guess.”

The barista smiled politely and said, “Oh, right.”

And then as if she just remembered, she exclaimed, “We have mince pies! You eat pie on Thanksgiving!”

I didn’t have the heart to tell her we don’t eat mince pies at Thanksgiving. So, I smiled back and said, “Oh, good to know! Thank you.”

Thanksgiving in England

Everyone else had answered the Thanksgiving question and finally it was my turn. I said I was thankful for the people in the room. I was thankful for friends who were always excited to share my traditions and holidays.

I guess the best way to say it is that I was, and am, thankful for simply having a full table. Pumpkin pie or mince pie, Thanksgiving or Christmas, America or England. Thankful here and there and everywhere.

Entry filed under: expat. Tags: , , , , , .

It’s nut all it’s cracked up to be (sorry, I had to) The Great Holiday Card Rigmarole

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. andrea  |  November 28, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving Caitlin :)

    Reply

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