Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thanksgiving: Feasting Far From Home

It's hard to believe that this was our fifth Thanksgiving in Luxembourg.  It's a strange feeling, this day, to be in a place where people go about business as usual, while everyone back home is warm and cozy, celebrating my favorite American holiday.

I brushed Hannah's hair and managed Finley's wriggly feet into his little shoes and Shawn kissed each of us goodbye.  He headed off for work and I took Hannah to school.

The other American moms wished one another a Happy Thanksgiving and I received a few texts from some British friends wishing us the same.  I smiled at their remembering, and also at the irony.

I often toggle between leaning into life abroad and twinges of guilt for choosing this childhood for our kids - away from family and the traditions that are so much a part of who I am.  And then I snapped back into the now and reminded myself that what we've got here is a gift.  Such a gift.

Earlier in the week, Finley at I shopped for a turkey and all the ingredients to make a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner.  Over the years I've learned to be industrious and resourceful, because making a Thanksgiving dinner in a country that doesn't have Thanksgiving isn't always easy.

As I placed our groceries on the conveyor, the cashier begins gushing over Finley, telling him how cute he is and commenting on his ginger hair.  He smiled at her, gave one of his big belly laughs and said, "My mommy fell down!"

I didn't fall down.
Not on this day, not on the day before, nor at any time in the recallable past, so I laughed to myself and made a mental note to write this down.
The cashier doesn't question or seem concerned; she either doesn't understand toddler talk or English.  Probably a little of both.

On Thursday morning, I stuffed, trussed and roasted the turkey in our tiny European oven.

Shawn left work early to pick Hannah up from school, a surprise that pretty much made her entire year.

Our perfectly imperfect Thanksgiving dinner

The Boxemännercher: we brought a bit of Luxembourg tradition to our American Thanksgiving

After the dishes were cleared, we had our first fire of the season.
"I'm gonna miss this fireplace when we move back to the US,"  Shawn told me when the kids were in bed and all that was left were embers.
Me, too.

On Saturday we celebrated again with some of our American and Canadian friends.
Hannah reminded me at the last minute to bring the Thanksgiving photo props.
They were a big hit two years ago.

Two-and-a-half Canadians and a little American

American: So, how is Thanksgiving different in Canada than in the States?
Canadian: Oh, it's pretty much the same.  Except we don't care as much.

Our fifth (and final) Thanksgiving in Luxembourg is in the books and it was wonderful.
It's almost time for our next big adventure: Christmas in America.
I haven't been home for an entire year, and I simply cannot wait.