Having lived on the East Coast for 7 years before moving overseas, it is not a new experience for us to be away from our families for Thanksgiving, but it was a new experience to live in a place where no one else celebrates it. We were fortunate that this year Thanksgiving coincided with an Islamic holiday, and we were both given the day off from work (as part of a 10-day government holiday, our second in three months!), so we spent the day in the usual Thanksgiving-day frenzy of cooking and cleaning, preparing for both our first major holiday out of the states and our first dinner party in our new home. Four expat friends came over, two of whom (an Australian and a Frenchman) had never experienced Thanksgiving before. It was fun presenting the dishes to them and explaining how I make cornbread stuffing and cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. I spent the past two weeks making countless trips to four different supermarkets trying to piece together the ingredients for each of these dishes. Each discovery was a small triumph and pulling off an entire traditional meal a victory! I am thankful that we were able to fill our home with friends and copious amounts of good food, and am once again reminded that these gifts come from God, no matter where we are.
I forgot to take pictures once dinner was on the table, but here are a few pre-dinner shots:
There is our first real dining room table; thanks IKEA.