There is no “Thanksgiving Day” in England.
To be sure, there have traditionally been harvest festivals and celebrations there for thousands and thousands of years, and in saying that there’s no “Thanksgiving” in England, I assure you I’m not in any way trying to invalidate those observances.
But, the fourth Thursday in November in England is a Thursday much like any other Thursday.
Realising that I was going to be far from my family on the fourth Thursday of November, Alex‘s mom, Kay, went to a great deal of trouble to surprise me with Thanksgiving dinner. I probably should have been able to guess that something was up when Alex started dropping questions here and there about what Thanksgiving celebrations consisted of. (A lot of food: turkey, potatoes, green bean casseroles, yams, stuffing, beets, pumpkin pies, and of course the traditional Thanksgiving family brawl, the food coma, and [American] football.)
Dinner was lovely – I wish I had at least taken a picture of the pumpkin pie. Kay really went all out on that pie – which, to be honest, is my favourite part of Thanksgiving. We even had ham rather than the traditional turkey because, well, that’s the way we do it at my parents’ … none of us actually being big fans of turkey. There was no green bean casserole, and no stuffing, and no football on the television. (But there was mead and four kinds of potatoes! I love potatoes.)
All of it was meant to make me feel less homesick, and like I wasn’t missing out on anything.
As much as I love my parents, and (most) of my extended family, not once did I ever feel homesick. Not once did I feel like I was “missing out”. Being with Alex is home, to me. But now, I feel a little like some of his family has become my family, too.