I started to comment on a blog post of a friend, and found it was turning into a novella and perhaps it would be better if I made it a post on my site, instead of burdening her with it.
Thursday marked my fourth consecutive Thanksgiving away from home. Every year I think it’s fine, no problem, in the run up to the day. But then the day arrives and I am miserable. I think about what my family will be doing. What I would have been doing. I am sad because I can’t watch the parades, or see the football. I am bitter because the Brit’s dont get it, and go so far as to mock it. I halfheartedly make a Thanksgiving meal, which I don’t think I even did last year.
Thanksgiving is a hard time for me. This year was no exception, I am already miserable.
But I decided I would make the meal, at least. Maybe I could have the kids watch Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. On Thursday the kids called home to wish my parents a Happy Thanksgiving. And I heard my daughter ask my mom “What do you DO on Thanksgiving?”.
Ouch. I have been so busy being homesick and miserable on Thanksgiving, I forgot about my kids. And meanwhile, my daughter has forgotten Thanksgiving. My son may not have forgotten just yet, but I imagine it will only be a few years before he too says “What do you DO?”, like any good Brit.
What to do about this? And then- it struck me. The thing I had been explaining to Brits for four years, hadn’t ever actually occurred to me. Thanksgiving is not about parades, football, or even the deadly Black Friday sales. It is, of course, about family. About being thankful for what you do have, not being miserable and bitter about what you don’t have. And I have my family. My three beautiful children and my long-suffering British husband, who even remembered to say “Happy Thanksgiving” this year.
I’m glad I finally realized. Hopefully my kids will never have to ask that “What do you DO” question again. Because they will know. You make hand turkeys, and hang them up. You help mommy in the kitchen, making rolls, and pies and turkey. You watch a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. And you join hands around the table and say Thank You. Because no matter what else is happening, you have your family. You have these special people around you. And that deserves to be celebrated.
Happy Belated Thanksgiving, everyone. I hope you had a lovely day.