A Very Happy Expat Thanksgiving

Yesterday was Thanksgiving, a holiday that I look forward to every year. Sadly for me, Thanksgiving is not celebrated in Ireland. I wasn’t going to let that stop me, though. I was determined to have ourselves a good ‘ol American Thanksgiving, even if we were the only family in our city roasting a turkey on the third Thursday of November.

The day before Thanksgiving we had a baking day. My two ‘lil pumpkins “helped” in the kitchen and we managed to bake two pumpkin pies and a casserole to prep for the big day. I am so, so, SO happy that we got to have pumpkin pie–it’s my absolute favorite treat and pumpkin-anything is very hard to come by here. Thank you to all of our American visitors who brought me canned pumpkin in the last few weeks!

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I got up early on Thanksgiving morning because Jacob was ready to get the party started. Since we were up at 5:30 (ugh.) I decided to make some festive pumpkin pancakes for breakfast (again, the PUMPKIN!!!). They were awesome.

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And then the former-Kindergarten teacher in me came out and I crafted not one but TWO fruit turkeys. Cute, cute, cute.

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We saved one of the fruiturkeys for Thanksgiving dinner and we brought the other one to David’s preschool. David’s preschool teachers are so sweet and thoughtful–they did a whole day of Thanksgiving-themed activities at school just to celebrate David’s culture (I never even thought of us having a “culture” per se but, yes, that is our culture). We brought the fuiturkey and some pumpkin muffins for the kidd-o’s snack time and we printed off a few pictures from our family Thanksgiving celebrations so David could show his classmates what this day is all about. When I picked David up from school I even heard a little girl telling her mom that “Today we learned about being thankful and turkeys”. Yep, nailed it.

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While David was at preschool I went on my own little “turkey trot” down on the Rochestown trail. It was just me and Jacob, so I guess that makes Jacob the turkey.

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When we got home that afternoon I managed to find the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on live streaming. I was giddy. Like, jumping up and down squealing out-of-control-happy. David thought that I’d gone completely nuts (as if he needed any more convincing).

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For Thanksgiving dinner we invited several of our American “expat friends” over to our house for turkey. It made me so happy to have a full house and good friends to share our holiday with. We are so amazingly blessed to have found such amazing people to share life with here in Ireland!

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And, then, the dinner. Oh, the dinner! It was incredible! We had turkey (which, just for the record, is not quite the same as the Butterballs that I’m used to roasting. Our bird had gnarly long legs and feather stubble. Gah! After a bit of work, though, it cooked beautifully and tasted delicious). We also had mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, vegetable casserole, green bean casserole, rolls, homemade cranberry sauce,  mulled wine, pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting and–of course–pumpkin pie with whipped cream. It was oh-so-good and oh-so-Thanksgiving-y.

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Everyone enjoyed their dinner, and I was grateful to all of our friends who helped prepare it. Seriously, thank  you, guys. It was Ammmmmmmazing!

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While we were waiting for our stomachs to make room for pie we watched What Does The Fox Say? (not sure that this will become a tradition…) and we played a rousing game of “What are you thankful for?”. David was thankful for balls and beer. I’m a bit concerned.

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So, there you have it. We managed to pull off an American Thanksgiving in Ireland. It was everything that Thanksgiving should be: good times, good food, and good people to share it all with. And, most importantly, praising God for the blessings in our lives. I have so much to be thankful for this year: the awesome opportunity to live in Ireland, our friends far and near, and an incredible family.

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From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

May your life be as full as my tummy.

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