I am not trying to avoid giving thanks for all the good things in my life. Believe me, I know I should practice being more thankful, instead of less.
However, as Thanksgiving Day approaches it brings a sense of foreboding for an expat living in America.
“What are you doing for Thanksgiving?” my hairdresser innocently asks me and unknowingly his question sets off turmoil in my mind.
It’s a simple question. But, for a non-American, it can be complicated to answer.
I want to say, “well we don’t really celebrate.” But, that sounds ungrateful, scandalous even.
Yet, when you have no family this side of the pond, Thanksgiving is only a reminder of the distance between you and loved ones. This All-American holiday on the fourth Thursday in November is business as usual in the UK.
Some of you might want to give thanks if you had 3,000 miles between you and your nearest and dearest. But, don’t. Be grateful for relatives no matter how crotchety you find them.
In the many years we have lived here, we are often “adopted” for Thanksgiving. And, I am so grateful for friends who take us in and love on us as if we are their own kith and kin.
Be thankful you can share because big-heartedness is appreciated.
Yet, when the invitations don’t arrive, it brings out my insecurities. “Nobody loves us this year,” I wail. Taking in a family of five can be a huge undertaking. Or, anticipating an invitation comes with trepidation. “We haven’t been invited back,” I ruminate. “Did we do something wrong?”
Be thankful this Thanksgiving for the guarantee of a place at the table.
So, this year I admit we are escaping for Thanksgiving. As I imagine the turkey and trimmings, and pumpkin pie, we will be somewhere between Ohio and Kansas—driving from Boston to Breckenridge.
On the road, I will remember all the many people alone, serving away from home, or working on this holiday and be truly grateful for all I have.
Be thankful this Thanksgiving, even if it is small.
Share the small things you are thankful for today.
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