Guest Post: Celebrating Thanksgiving Abroad
Today’s guest post is from Lauren of laurensroadlesstraveled.com. After living and studying in both Australia and England, she’s back in the U.S., readjusting to American life in Washington D.C. Here, she shares her experience celebrating Thanksgiving abroad, and sharing a part of her culture with others. Enjoy!
One of my fondest memories while studying abroad in England was the night I celebrated Thanksgiving with 17 of my international friends. Packed into a tiny, European living room, we feasted on one of the greatest meals I’ve ever cooked.
For the first time in 23 years, Thanksgiving was my holiday. I picked the menu, did the majority of the cooking, and shared all of my favorite traditions. Instead of watching my mother prepare the turkey, I had the pleasure of buttering it up, (plucking out the insides, yuck!), and cooking it to perfection. How proud I was!
With my two American friends, we explained the concept and history of Thanksgiving; the tradition of watching football, the significance of “Black Friday,” and most importantly, we reflected on the people, memories and places that we were thankful for.
Although it was my first Thanksgiving away from the States and without my family, it was perfect. The menu consisted of a perfectly cooked turkey, mashed potatoes/gravy, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, cranberry relish and cranberry orange cookies. I spent the entire day cooking and even prepped some dishes days ahead of time.
Candles flickered all around the room and eager faces looked up as we carried in the dishes. The energy in the room as everyone anticipated the meal warmed my heart. Smiles lit every face and I received numerous ‘thank yous’ for all the effort I put into the dinner. Too often we take holidays and time spent with friends and family for granted; no one did that night—and it was a good reminder that even the smallest of things should be celebrated.
Happy Thanksgiving, wherever you are in the world!