Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Around this time of year, many people like to discuss the "first" Thanksgiving. Americans debate Thanksgiving's historical accuracy and our culture's depiction of Native Americans. What I find interesting about the "first" Thanksgiving is that the idea of thanksgiving sprang from multiple countries' religious traditions of giving thanks to God. Thanksgiving was especially important for immigrants as they settled in foreign lands and faced the threat of war, starvation and death. So there are numerous records of thanksgiving ceremonies throughout early American history, in Massachusetts, but also in the Spanish colony of Florida, and in the Virginia Colony, near Jamestown.

Admittedly, when Phil and I arrived in Bristol just over two years ago, there was no threat of war, starvation or death. But even so, the transition wasn't exactly easy, so we were thankful for all the kindness shown to us on our arrival. Last year we celebrated Thanksgiving as a potluck at our house, inviting all of our new UK friends to join us. We are continuing the tradition this year.

And I feel I have so much to be thankful for.

I'm thankful for all the basic necessities I have which many others lack. I'm thankful for a roof over my head, plenty of food to eat, heat, fresh water and health (yes, I've had a cold/flu how many times this autumn? But really, it could be so much worse).

I'm thankful for a large and loving family which I get to speak to and see often, even though they live so far away (thank God for Skype!).

I'm thankful for my friends, old friends who have stayed in touch and new friends who have reached out to me.

I'm thankful for the opportunity this year to pursue my writing dream. And I'm also thankful for my fellow students, teachers and supportive family who have helped me enjoy pursuing it so much.

Happy Thanksgiving!

4 comments:

  1. We lived in London for three years - Thanksgiving was difficult: I had to import cornbread for my grandmother's recepie for cornbread dressing. Cranberries, too, were hard to find. My husband had to work! And there was no football. We had our dinner on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, a huge gathering of friends that taught me to appreciate Thankssgiving even more.
    Great post.

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  2. Thanks for your comment, Meg!
    I did manage to get cranberries at the store today, which made me sooo happy. And yes, I REALLY miss the football.
    You're absolutely right. I think being away from family and friends and creating new Thanksgiving traditions makes Thanksgiving even more special.

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  3. Ah, we've moved around a lot too. We had pasta with carrots in China one thanksgiving (our 6 month old managed to spill beer into my dh's lap), ate Italian a few years ago when we went on a ski trip in Austria (not much snow) but mostly manage to have big gatherings of friends even when we are far from family.

    This year we had a small group and it was really nice!!

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  4. Thanks for sharing your Thanksgiving experiences, Angela. It's great to hear all the different Thanksgiving stories out there.

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