Saturday, November 26, 2011
Thanksgiving, a day to celebrate with family the remembrance of the gracious hearts of the Indians feeding “the stranger in their midst”. For me it is a day to spend with family. We make the 2 ½ hour trip to my parents the night before. I wake up and watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. We lay around in our sweats and scour the adds looking for that perfect deal on Black Friday. The parade turns to football playing in the background. By mid-afternoon everyone is scurrying around the kitchen worrying about the turkey. We sit down at the dining table with a feast set before us. Everyone must share one thing they are thankful for before we pray and finally pass the turkey around. Of course by this time it's cold, but that's all part of the Thanksgiving ritual – and I love it! We do the dishes, play games, lay on the couch and enjoy the coziness of the day. In the evening we bring out the pies and slowly eat a piece or two while planning the strategy for Fri.
In committing to working for the State Department we have walked away from continuing these traditions and stepped into the unknown. There is comfort in knowing we have our children with us, but what new traditions will we start that will carry us through these years?
Tradition 1: Skipping school. Because the kids go to the British school they do not have the day off. We decided that even though they seem to have a million Colombian holidays, they don't mean anything to us. But Thanksgiving does. So we all slept in and had French Toast for breakfast – together.
Tradition 2: Decorate for Christmas. I hauled out the boxes with the decorations. The girls set up the nativity scene, Chad assembled the Christmas tree and I placed the other miscellaneous garland making the apartment feel festive and like home.
Tradition 3: Skype with Family. Although we can not be there in person, we are with our family in spirit. Home was just as I remembered on Thanksgiving day. Dad lounging around, the tv blaring and kids playing. I'm so glad we can connect visually even though we are so far apart.
Tradition 4: A feast with friends. I am so thankful for the community of friends we have made in the short time we have been here. It felt so good to plan, prepare and be a part of an extended embassy family. The food was amazing as everyone pitched in to help. The conversation around football and food made it feel like home. A game of Win Loose or Draw was the perfect finish to a new way of spending Thanksgiving.
These are 4 new traditions I look forward to keeping each year while overseas.