2015 was the third time I've celebrated this American holiday abroad, and each year it's a different adventure. In 2011, my first year in Spain, I cooked a whole turkey in a crock pot, and managed to prepare the rest of the dishes with only a stove and a toaster oven at my disposal! I invited my roommates and some friends to our apartment for a big meal followed by pie and a movie. Last year in Alcalá we shared a meal with about ten people at Al and Elizabeth's house, and I was responsible for two pumpkin chiffon pies. This year in Munich, we had a small, quiet Thanksgiving in our itty-bitty apartment. I took a day off of language classes and prepared my Mom's delicious cornbread dressing (I found white cornmeal in a Brazilian grocery store the other day!), turkey breast, homemade cranberry sauce, and my Mimi's yummy pumpkin chiffon pie.
We missed family. We missed the Thanksgiving atmosphere. It's strange to be celebrating a holiday that's so important in your world when everyone around you is doing their regular thing...you know, since the pilgrims went to America, not Germany.
But we were thankful for good food, a break from the everyday schedule, and each other. We were thankful for Whatsapp to share photos of the day, and Facetime to call family. Oh, and we were definitely grateful for a post-meal nap.
Tonight the Christmas markets open here in Munich, and I cannot wait get in the Christmas spirit! The holiday markets in Spain weren't exactly impressive, and aren't anything like (what I hear) German markets are like. A holiday of giving thanks immediately followed by all this pre-Christmas cheer is something I can get on board with!