Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving in a Country That Doesn’t Have Thanksgiving

One of the things that I’ve been keenly aware of (and somewhat concerned about) with Hannah going to school here in Luxembourg is that she doesn’t learn about significant pieces of American history and culture.

That includes Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is not celebrated here in Luxembourg and she certainly isn’t going to learn about it at a British International School.  I mean, obviously.

Since we dabbled in a bit of homeschooling before she actually started school, I thought this would be a great time to put together some lessons on the topic.

I scoured the internet and found age appropriate reading material, videos and crafts relating to the history and meaning of this most special holiday.

We started out with this story that explains why the Pilgrims left England and how they sailed to America, landing at Plymouth Rock.

We watched these videos.

Part I
Part II

We talked about what a rough journey the pilgrims had sailing across the Atlantic and how they were crowded, uncomfortable and many of them were sick.
Then my parents sent her this Thanksgiving card with little mice pilgrims on the Mayflower.  I read the card to her and she crooked her head to the side and looked at it quizzically.

”Why are these pilgrims smiling?  I thought they were all sick.”


Then we made this craft. 
Now, you know how much I love kids’ handprint crafts, so this one was right up our alley.


When Shawn got home from work, Hannah showed him her masterpiece and explained that it was the Mayflower sailing across the ocean to America.

Then she leaned in close and whispered, “It looks like a big ship, but it’s really just my hand.”
Right.  It’s a good thing she explained because he never would have guessed.

Our next project was our “Thankful Tree” that is proudly displayed on the dining room table.




Every couple of days, we color and cut out a leaf, I write down what Hannah is thankful for and we hang it on the tree.  Templates for leaves can be found here.

We also worked on memorizing some Bible verses on thankfulness.

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So that’s how we’re preparing for Thanksgiving in Luxembourg this year.
Last year, my sister came to visit us.  You can read about it here, here and here.

This is probably a good time to tell you that putting together a traditional Thanksgiving dinner in a country that doesn’t have Thanksgiving, well, it ain’t always easy.   It took me a few days, but I was able to track down just about everything I need.  I had to get a bit industrious and creative with a few recipes.  Oh, and I was also able to hunt down a 10 pound turkey.
(Not literally.)
(Kind of literally.)
It’s taking up nearly half of our teeny, tiny European refrigerator. 
Hopefully, it will fit in the oven when it’s time.

Thursday Shawn will be home early and I’m going to pick Hannah up from school early so that we can watch the Macy’s Parade (via Slingbox) and spend the entire afternoon and evening together – just the three of us.
I can’t think of a cozier way to spend the holiday.
Friday we’ll be back to our normal routine and we have some fun things planned for the weekend.

To our family in the US – we will miss you.  We are so thankful for you.

1 comment:

  1. What a great thing to teach your daughter. I might play the videos for my son today.