As an American in Northern Ireland, I always try to make a Thanksgiving meal for myself and some friends.. if I am not back home with my family! This year I am doing the same, but under slightly different circumstances. I don't mean to whine or complain, but a few months ago my husband of 8 years asked for a divorce. He had been away with work for a while, and now is in England.. and he decided not to come home, just sent an email. Shortly thereafter I lost access to the joint bank account, and a month later he cancelled my rent payments. My life turned upside down in a very short period of time. Now I wait to see if the benefits office will help, while I look for full-time work... meanwhile eating through my savings in order to pay the bills, and trying to figure out what I really want to do with my life now that I am starting over.
Sure, things are hard. But I have a roof over my head. I have family, although they are far away, who care. I have friends who bring me cake on my birthday and send me LEGO. I have the ever-goofy Loki. I have my health (well..and the NHS!!).
I look around me and most of my UK pals are gearing up for Christmas. The TV is full of commercials encouraging us to part with our money for presents (and apparently a hair dryer is a good gift!). And although there is a lot of Black Friday stuff back home, Thanksgiving is not about that. It has always been a day spent with family and friends. Food and football. Descending into that tryptophan-enduced coma after eating just one more helping of turkey. So, amidst the uncertainty of my own personal life, I am thankful I have enough to feed my friends and enjoy their company.
So enjoy your family, your friends. Eat turkey and pie. And remember what is truly important.