I love Thanksgiving. It’s all about food, friends, more food, Charlie Brown, and taking a minute to reflect on what I’m thankful for.
Everybody has her own Turkey Day rituals. One of mine is that I make my very British guests don a turkey hat named Gobbler. One by one, we go around the table to say what we are thankful for. It’s fun to watch the look of realisation and horror in the eyes of virgin Thanksgiving attendees when they realise what they have to do. But to be fair to everyone who has ever been to my Thanksgiving Bash, they often surprise me (and themselves) with how genuine and emotional their answers are. Sometimes, there are even tears, like when I announced my pregnancy at last year’s table.
When I arrived in the UK thirteen years ago, for some reason it was important to me to continue celebrating Thanksgiving. I had a few frustrating years when some of the guests just didn’t get it. They’d go on and on about how we were celebrating how the Native Americans were killed by the Colonists (who, I’d like to point out, were British people). That’s an easy way to lose your invitation for the next year.
Another way to lose it is to make a mockery of your assigned dish. For the first few years, I tried to do it the way my parents always did it; that is, I cooked every single dish for the guests. This included: the turkey, gravy, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cornbread, pumpkin pie (from scratch), and a variety of vegetables. Then I realised that assigning each guest a traditional dish was the way forward. Most people have risen to the occasion, but I’ve had people turn up with uncooked vegetables (“Can I just use your microwave?”) or the best one: “I forgot my dish at home.” NO! OFF WITH YOUR HEAD!!!
So what am I thankful for this year? Baby is the obvious answer. She’s literally a bundle of joy, always full of smiles. I joke that her superpower is that she brightens people’s days by making them smile as we pass them on the street. Heaven knows she brightens mine.
There are, of course, so many other people I’m thankful for this year. My husband and family go without saying. Everyone who works at the Studio. My old friends. My new mummy friends. My childcarer. My cats. Even our builder who extended our house, creating our lovely little nest.
And I’m also really thankful to everyone who has been reading this blog. It’s a labour of love and not always an easy labour, so I’m glad you are enjoying it. Please do share in the comments section what you’re thankful for. I’d love to know.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
P.S. For any other Americans reading this, you can buy lots of American goods, like Stove Top and pumpkin pie filling, at Partridges on the Kings Road near the Saatchi Gallery.