On the fourth Thursday of every November, American families all across the world celebrate Thanksgiving, and we were no exception. But this year was a little different.
This was our first Thanksgiving spent in the UK. However instead of family, we celebrated with friends of ours – another British-American couple who related to the feeling of not being home for the holiday season.
Because Thanksgiving itself is not a holiday in the UK, we instead celebrated on the weekend. On Friday night we drove from Nottingham to Manchester, in order to spend the entire Saturday cooking and eating (just as we would in the USA). Though we were initially unsure of whether the day would feel like Thanksgiving, we were pleasantly surprised!
How We Celebrated Thanksgiving in the UK
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After sleeping in, our husbands first drove to the butchers to pick up our turkey as we prepared the rest of the food and lunch. Because dinner was going to be so large, we had planned a lunch made up entirely of snacks to keep the food consumption light. Once they arrived back at the apartment, the remainder of our morning was spent preparing the turkey.
During the afternoon, we snacked, played games and waited for the turkey to finish cooking. Around 5pm, we sat around the table (just as we would back home) and ate until we couldn’t eat any more. There was just enough room to squeeze in home-made pie before spending the evening watching Scrooged and decorating the Christmas tree.
What Holidays from Home Do You Miss?
Not being home for the holidays can be tough – there’s no doubt about it. Everyone misses something different. For me, it’s a strange feeling not being in the US with family for Thanksgiving knowing that everyone I know back home is celebrating it (although I have yet to experience a Christmas in the UK).
What holidays from your home country do you miss? And what have you done in your new home to make it a little more special? We know from firsthand experience that every expat will have their own unique quirks – let us know in the comments below.