Friday, November 28, 2014

Expat Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving dear friends! How was your turkey day? We spent ours here in SwitzerFrance, and kept things pretty low key. A friend of ours came over to break bread for the second year in a row, we watched the Eagles completely trounce on the Cowboys, and Oswin sat at the table in her high chair like a big little kid. Oh, and if you follow me on Instagram you know that our friend worked up to best guest ever status by unknowingly bringing some Pennsylvania beer to the festivities. Felt just a bit more like home this year...

This was our fourth year in a row celebrating my favorite holiday away from friends and family, and it's always a bit bittersweet. We do everything we can to make the holiday special, which typically involves incorporating traditions from back home. We sometimes have to work hard to find staples like cranberries or even the turkey, but thanks to the expat network here in SwitzerFrance you can find pretty much anything you need. We always spend the early afternoon streaming the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade while working in the kitchen, and watch football once the parade has finished. We have a tiny kitchen and a teeny European fridge, so making Thanksgiving dinner takes a very scheduled division of labor and a list of who needs the oven when. I think that's all part of the fun though. We drink far too much coffee, negotiate when each one of us needs to be in the kitchen, and we're off like two mad chefs in the kitchen.

And now I sit here on a lovely Friday with another list in mind: holiday decorating! I'm excited as can be that tomorrow we will partake in another tradition of ours, purchasing and decorating our holiday tree the weekend after Thanksgiving. I can't wait to get those cat burglaring Santas up on the walls, and maybe find another to add to the collection this year. It's always such a walk down memory lane to take out the ornaments as well, as all have either been made by  us or purchased at different European Christmas markets. I love taking out each ornament and reliving whatever experience that one in particular resulted from. I'm a complete nerd and have a list written out describing each ornament, which market it was purchased at, and when. Yes I'm a bit OCD, but I also don't want to ever forget the stories behind these special ornaments, especially now that our collection has gone from just a few to quite a few.

This also means that the European Christmas Markets are soon to be opening up, and we've got a few on our list this year. Some old, some new, all pouring piping hot vin chaud or gluhwein in festive mugs. Last year we went to the Christmas markets in Freiburg (Germany), Basel (Switzerland), Mulhouse (France), Thoiry, and Annecy. I can't wait to get on the road and get some new ornaments to add to the growing collection. I'll be posting more about the European Christmas Markets very soon, so stay tuned!

I hope that wherever you are in the world, surrounded by family or not, that you had a warm, delicious, cozy and relaxing Thanksgiving holiday. I'm very thankful for all of you, whether you stop by every once in awhile, or have gone from reader to close friend. The blogosphere is pretty cool in that it can bring us all together and share a little bit in each other's lives. Thanks for sharing in mine.

A la prochaine friends...


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