If toward the end of this week you notice that your American friends seem to be lacking their usual boisterous spirit, it is probably due to a tragic loss. A type of loss that cannot find compensation in a roast chicken, bacon, and stuffing sandwich from Tesco. Nor can our pain be relieved by the premature arrival of Christmas at the Holiday Markets on Princes Street. Every American knows that Christmas cannot be properly celebrated until Turkey Day has passed. With a heavy heart, us Americans here in Edinburgh know that Thanksgiving, our favorite holiday, will never be the same.
As a native New Englander, I have already found it hard to come to terms with Edinburgh’s lackluster autumn season. It is not quite chilly enough, its foliage is not quite bright enough, and its caramel apple game is certainly not strong enough. And now that Thanksgiving – the culmination of all things autumn – is right around the corner, my longing for home has grown far more intense. But, like any foreigner, I have had to adapt.
Accepting the fact that ‘Friendsgiving’ is what I will be celebrating from now on has been strange. That being said, Thanksgiving with your friends is certainly different to Thanksgiving with your family. There is more wine, less good-quality food, and far more mishaps in the kitchen. It is a unique experience – one that at least does not require you to awkwardly go around the table saying what you are thankful for. In the end though, celebrating America’s favorite holiday with a group of friends who have never been exposed to the glorious flavors of pumpkin pie is much like your traditional family affair in one very important way: you have the opportunity to spend time with people you care about. Or, at the very least, you and your flatmates can take a moment to stop arguing about who did not pay the rent this month.
Photo credit: vxla @ Flickr