Wednesday, November 21, 2012

First for everything

This will be my first year without a traditional Thanksgiving. To say I am a little bit sad might be an understatement, but that is the price you pay when you don't live in your home country.
Our T-Day schedule; still in use! 
Even though we have lived abroad for 3 years, the first two years I had my extended "family" of Ashley and Mike close by and we celebrated in Switzerland! It is Ashley's favorite holiday and she has been sharing it with her colleagues and friends since she moved overseas. I have been so blessed that I got to celebrate with them and it always felt like my home away from home. Making the holidays much more bearable- no, scratch that, enjoyable and memorable!
Hall for 50 Turkey day guests! 
Ashley is extremely generous and started out hosting a moderate amount of people her first year, then a larger group my first year and even larger last year. We almost had to stack people on top of each other for them to fit and eat! This year, Ashley truly outdid herself. She hosted a group of 50 this past Saturday, rented a hall and did the cooking herself with the help of Mike and their friend Jeff. Ashley has spread this American tradition to so many people and really shown what it stands for. I have to say, I was so happy to receive all her messages about the preparations and how things were going, but I was also missing it so deeply and sad not to be there. Staying up all night, listening to show tunes (another Ashley favorite), catching up, peeling bags and bags of potatoes and apples and prepping the turkeys.
2 of the 3 birds Ashley cooked this year! 
Some people think that this American tradition is about excesses. To me, it is my favorite because it is a time when your family and friends gather to give thanks and nothing else. There is no commercialization, there is no pressure. It is just a time to be together, share a good meal that many people prepared and remember all that we are blessed with. Whether that be memories, experiences, people, love, or even a thing or two.

Some of my favorite Thanksgivings were when I was little at my Grandma's house with my mom's brothers and sisters and all my cousins. I do not know how we all fit in that house and how there was always more than enough food for everyone. It was a small space for that many people, but because of that, it felt much more cozy and warm :)

This year, I have much to be thankful for. And missing my first Thanksgiving will surely make it more memorable each time I can celebrate it, whether it is with my family or friends. I am extremely grateful that this is only my first time to miss it thanks to Ashley. Stay tuned- I am still searching for somewhere to have at least a turkey sandwich, even if it is at Starbucks with their holiday lattes ;)

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