Thursday, 28 November 2013

Celebrating Foreign Family Holidays

It's that time of year again -- fourth Thursday in November when all of England carries about its usual weekday business, and we US-born expats try to salvage a bit of home by celebrating Thanksgiving as best we can.

This year, for the first time I think ever, we celebrated what's essentially the US version of Harvest with another American family.

A Feast for a Large Crew
It was such a blessing to bring our family's traditions and recipes together: turkey, ham, sweet potato casserole, broccoli-rice-cheese casserole, cranberry jelly and cranberry relish and cranberry jell-o, stuffing, gravy, rolls, and such an abundance that we didn't even get to the pumpkin or apple pies nor the pumpkin cake.

An amazing feat for my host and hostess considering they only moved into this house on Monday, and had to learn how to cook with an AGA oven, having never used one before.

This could be a Norman Rockwell picture!

Of course, we remember our families back in the States, the football games that are televised hours and hours later, the little things that are missing from the table like green and black olives, queso, my aunt's special fruit salad, and my cousin's wonderful buttermilk pie.

But the joy of sharing with others is that new experiences and traditions can join with the old, and we can appreciate how God has made so much variety in this world, and yet loves each one of us as an individual.

And for that, how can we but give thanks?

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