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.
Today is Father’s Day – at least here in the U.S. – so I wanted to take a minute to acknowledge my dad, who, at least to me, is the best dad, even if he’s not my biological father.
We’ve had our rough patches, and neither of us are perfect people, but I wouldn’t trade him for all the world.
My biological father – well, I don’t wish him any ill, but that relationship is rocky, to put it very mildly. He’s been imprisoned twice in the years that I’ve been alive, and neither of them have been short stays. Factor in the time I’ve not spent with him, and the fact that he’s been abusive both towards myself and my mother, and it’s fair to say that we don’t actually have much of a relationship at all.
Nevertheless, I’m thankful for him. If nothing else, for being half responsible for my existence, and for showing me what a good dad isn’t.
One day I’m hoping I have good reason to wish Alex “Happy Father’s Day”. I think he’ll be a wonderful dad… but not trying to put the horse before the cart here. First, we’ve got to get that permanent residency thing sorted out.
Today, because it’s my birthday, Alex and I watched “The Nightmare Before Christmas” on Netflix.
Knowing how much he absolutely despises this film, it’s one of the nicest things he could have done for me. It really made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
There are presents coming, as well, but apparently, because I’m “stubborn“, they won’t be arriving ’til next week. I do know what they are, though: light, warmth, and lots & lots of fun. I’m incredibly lucky to have such a thoughtful boyfriend. ♥
I also have a pretty fantastic set of parents. Their gift to me this year came in the form of them taking in my laptop to be repaired and updated. I’ve really missed my laptop, so, that’s a spectacular present, if you ask me!
I’m not sure what else is in store for today, but I hope there’s cake.
Edited to add: There was cake. Oh, man, was there cake. Chocolate-on-chocolate, and it was sinful.