The 2020 expat Thanksgiving...

September 4th 2020 marked my 9th year in England. Every year I've cherished the unique Thanksgiving holiday, which is wholly American and have loved sharing it with the Europeans I have the beautiful fortune of knowing on this side of our lovely world.

Year after year I would diligently plan the meal, the guest list, the time off the week prior to prepare and it was such a joyous time each year. Sharing traditions is what allows us to appreciate and relish our own culture while discussing and reflecting how cultures are different in every corner of the World. This one holiday, as stated earlier, so uniquely American, is such a pleasure to share.

This year is markedly different however, with covid restrictions in place, the UK in Lockdown and the very strict rules that households cannot mix, I am left unable to share this holiday with people who are not American. There will be no new individual who has "never had pumpkin pie" (this is not a thing in Europe), and no engagement around the lovely table to share our thanks and ALL THE FOOD outside of the immediate family that live in this house.

This isn't what Thanksgiving is supposed to be about, but I find myself seeking the positives I can find in this. I am allowed one other single person to create a "support bubble". Of course, I chose that person early on in our covid adventure and she has been such a lovely mainstay to share vacations, holidays and the occasional covid weekend with. She and I were supposed to go to Sweden, but the lockdown cancelled our flights, yet again re-arranging plans unwillingly. Instead, we will be a small gathering here at Beaufort house but still with the specialty cocktails all the Turkey and trimmings, pie and the family board games and holiday movies that go along with it.

Everyone I talk with is planning their "ZOOM" Thanksgiving, and we will do the same here, to connect with friends and family globally, each of us doing our part to get this world to a stage in the pandemic that is tolerable and we can start to see some semblance of our social lives again.

What I am finding most important however, is not what I don't get to have this year, but what I do get to do differently and really enjoying that. A different "special" Thanksgiving we will look back on in several years with reflection "remember our ZOOM Thanksgiving?" I and all my family members have their health, the weather is proving to look markedly well by UK standards and we have the resources to enjoy all of our favorite traditions (imagine if we couldn't get a Turkey!!???)

We hope this Thanksgiving holiday finds you and yours fit, healthy and happy, prepared to appreciate and be thankful for all we do have.

~ Brenda

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