Helping Expats Relocate
It truly amazes me that people of various cultures around the world are starting to celebrate Thanksgiving. Just this week in the small Englsih town where I live, I've heard an English friend or two say they were celebratingThanksgiving with their family.
On one occassion, someone pipped . up and said, "But that's so American. Why would you do that?"
As I was sitting next to the lovely lady with Thanksgiving plans, I answered while she thought about it. "The first Thanksgiving was celebrated by quite a few British people," and we had a laugh.
"Oh yes," said my friend,"perhaps it is an off-shoot of the old Harvest Festival that we used to celebrate here in the UK."
While some of the older, more traditional Anglican churches do still hold Harvest Festivals (the name says it all), more and more of the younger generation are taking up the idea of celebrating what is believed to be an American import. As a former US Social Studies teacher, I love the history of Thanksgiving. If any of you share that joy, I will link to a few good historical sites later in the week. For now, I simply want to say how much fun it is to see Facebook sites in and around London give out info as to where to find pumpkin suitable for pumpkin pie and devulging which store has the best prices for all things Thanksgiving.
Having lived overseas for a number of years, there are two questions I still get surrounding Thanksgiving that are more of a current practical nature.
1. Why is thanksgiving SO close to Christmas?
I give my own, personal answer that seems to suit many Americans where ever we live. I say something along the lines of, "it helps in family relations! You can say, "mom/mum, we'll come to you for Thanksgiving and then his folks for Christmas-or vice versa!" As the holidays are so close, no one feels they miss out on family festivities.
2. Why do you/ Americans like Thanksgiving so much?
I start out by saying (again my own personal take on this) that it is one holiday we have managed to not mess up with commercialism. No presents. No cards. Just come with your favourite dish and something in mind (that you are happy to share) for which you are Thankful.
Then, the real answer comes. I believe with all my heart that a nation that takes time to give thanks for all God has done in our lives is a nation that is blessed indeed.
There are a few challenges when gathering family and friends around the table, but for this I'm resurrecting my Relocation Mentoring Facebook page (later this month) and will share some thoughts and tips for not just playing happy families but thriving at this time. It will all be on Facebook Live as we look beyond the brokenness of this world and choose to head in a mentally healthy direction at this time, and certainly at our table. In the meantime, remember the book about Love Languages? Time to get it out and dust if off. If you've been relocating and your copy is SOMEWHERE in the unpacked boxes remember Amazon.com delivers just about everywhere!