Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Little Moment - Giving Thanks

As soon as I open my mouth people know there is something a little bit different about me. You see, I am an American living in Australia and the moment you hear me talk my accent gives it away (this will never be a problem for my children:). A question I often get is what I miss about home. The chaos of living with 3 young children doesn't give one much time to miss things, but when I do it's usually the silly little things like an ingredient for cooking, or a word.

But then there are the times of year when I really do miss home. Not surprisingly these are the big holidays, both for the rituals/traditions tied to them and of course, for the family and friends.

One of the biggest holidays in the states is coming up this week - Thanksgiving. The fourth Thursday of November, Thanksgiving has its roots in the early settling of what is now the US by the pilgrims and their celebrations of the good harvest. During the civil war Abraham Lincoln created the official public holiday, to help heal a nation at war.

Today Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate family and friends and to take stock and count your blessings. While only a 4 day weekend, for many this is a bigger family time than Christmas. For me it was about traveling to Ohio to my paternal grandmother's and spending time with my very large extended family (my father is one of 10), seeing Aunts, Uncles and cousins of all ages.

As an American living overseas it has been important to me that my children not only learn and experience their Australian heritage, but to understand their American heritage as well. Our first couple of Thanksgivings here we celebrated alone, but it just didn't seem right to me (why do all that fabulous cooking especially when young children won't eat it), so a number of years ago I decided to make Thanksgiving our big social event of the year. To invite our friends to share in our company, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and pumpkin pie, and to bring their whole family and a dish to share.

It has become an event I look forward to; this year we had about 45 friends (over half were children) attend our Thanksgiving "extravaganza". We were blessed with perfect weather (which is important both for cooking - the oven is on for about 2 solid days - and where we hold the event - outside, as our house is not large), the food was fabulous and the friends were merry. It made being away from home this time of year that little bit easier:)

So happy Thanksgiving to my family and friends in the States - I miss you terribly and for those of you down under, thanks for coming and sharing in my tradition, and helping me not to miss home so much:) Cyndy

PS We saved one whole pumpkin pie for ourselves - yes, even the children now love pumpkin pie:) Pin It

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