All posts tagged: Thanksgiving

First Thanksgiving & a slice of humble pie

I hadn’t intended to do a full-blown Thanksgiving with my Austrian in-laws for fear that it wouldn’t feel the same. Thanksgiving Thursday was an ordinary workday, and our celebration would have to take place on Saturday. At that point, I figured it would be like any other Saturday when the family eats lunch together because that’s what happens when your relatives are also your neighbors. What if they don’t like the food? What if they miss the point of it? I was ready to shrug it off. I had it all wrong. Thanksgiving turned out to be very special. Looking back, I realize that a) my defeatist thoughts are quite crippling, b) I was the one missing the point, and c) blessings come in many forms. It was my brother-in-law and his girlfriend who motivated me to celebrate Thanksgiving. They called Juergen with the idea to surprise me with a dinner, knowing it’s my favorite holiday and wanting to take part in an American tradition. Their thoughtfulness and enthusiasm is what the holiday is all …

Pre-Holidays, Inspiration Trumps Isolation

It’s happening. Fall-themed merchandise is now on clearance, making plenty of room on the shelves for Christmas stuff. Some things aren’t so different from America after all. I’m definitely somber about the absence of Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday. Ever since college, the anticipation for Thanksgiving has always paired naturally with the nip in the air, ochre and auburn tones, hearty stews, and a longing for family. But the gaping hole in November on the Austrian calendar is sending me in a tailspin. Without the lockstep cadence of Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas, I’m feeling disoriented. Dear Christmas, hold your horses. Especially because I won’t be with my family in America on Thanksgiving. I know you’re waiting in the wings for your faaaaabulous entrance, and you’ll get it, I promise. I’m just asking for some time to defend myself against an inevitable bout of homesickness. Thanks. If you’ve ever been away from your loved ones during the holidays, you know how much the distance strengthens your love and connection to them, and how acutely it intensifies the loneliness and the guilt. …