EXPAT LIFE | A Very Merry UnThanksgiving

It's weird to write about Thanksgiving as someone who has been away from the States for five years during the holiday. I'm starting to look at it as a memory, rather than a holiday. How weird and unAmerican, I know... but I think the lines are currently a bit blurred on where I belong. But with that fuzzy perspective, let's take a quick trip back to Dallas in the 1990s.

I love Thanksgiving. I won't pretend that I am an overly enthusiastic participant in the holiday... more of passive one who has spent much of her life enjoying the day playing with family around our house, while my mom continuously pulls pies out of the oven like a clown car. After everyone starts feeling a bit bored with the parade and tromping around in the backyard, it would be magically time to eat Thanksgiving dinner.

My mom would have pulled out all the stops- homemade everything. A giant turkey. A honey baked ham. A small mountain range of mashed potatoes. Cornbread stuffing made that morning. And our butler's pantry counter lined with the favorite homemade pie of each person there only balanced by the whipped cream mass that could be confused for low sitting clouds.

Inevitably, we'd all go around the table and share something that we were thankful for each year. As a child, I always scrambled for something that sounded deeper than how I felt. What I was thankful for when I was 11? Being sat by my cousin and having an extra cherry pie on the counter. My thankfulness was short-sited, to say the least. 

It's grown over the years to an endless list of things... well more than just things. People, events, thoughtful gestures that have altered situations.. and really, God's kind hand in all the happenings of our lives. 

We won't be celebrating Thanksgiving until Sunday when we have some fellow Texans over for lunch, but I don't want to cheapen the day by some twee hashtag to accompany my gratitude. Life is good. The food we get to enjoy is a great gift of lives that we live in plenty. But most importantly, my heart feels full because God is so kind. 

Enjoy the day, friends. Drink an extra cup of coffee and eat that extra piece of pie. Enjoy the day with those you love for those of us can't be around the table with you today. 

PS. Random photos of us frolicking in front of my childhood home. Pysch. It's Blenheim Palace and an absolute must if you visit Oxford.

*images original to Aspiring Kennedy