This year's Thanksgiving was a bit different than my past Thanksgiving's in China. Usually, it's surrounded by a number of people, involving a potluck, and getting to try all kinds of different foods that people associate with their traditional Thanksgiving dinners. This year, I was kind of sad at thinking I wouldn't get to take part in that tradition in my third year living in Beijing. In fact, up until the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving weekend, I had zero plans to celebrate Thanksgiving. I told Amanda how I felt about it, and in an instant we had plans to celebrate Thanksgiving that coming Saturday!
We called a local restaurant and ordered a turkey (which may or may not have cost $123) that they would cook for us, including the gravy. We decided we'd cook potatoes, green beans, squash, and potato dressing. There would be pickles, and cheese, and apple pie with ice cream for dessert. Wine would be poured and games would be played, and we would go around the table and tell each other what we were thankful for. We decided we would just have a small dinner for four to make it more intimate and family-like. So it was me, Ken, and the Zhang's. They were gracious enough to host us!
It was a great Thanksgiving in Beijing! We laughed and reminisced and shared stories. It made me so excited for Christmas time and getting to go home. All I could think about (besides how fortunate I am to have such amazing friends in Beijing to celebrate this Canadian holiday with) was my family and how much they mean to me. I have said it time and time again on this blog, but I am so thankful and blessed to come from such an amazing, rock-solid family. We are so close and love each other unconditionally. They are the greatest support system and I am filled with so much excitement to think that after 2 years away for the holidays, this year I'll get to sit around that table on Christmas day sharing in the joys of being together and and the warmth that comes with the Christmas season.
I have so much to be thankful for this year. I am thankful for my family and my friends that feel like family (Amanda said this at our Thanksgiving dinner, and it sums up perfectly how I feel about my friends), my students, getting to travel and see the world, FaceTime & Skype, good food, and where I come from.
I know it's a couple of days late, but Happy Thanksgiving!
PS - Read about what my students are thankful for and my Thanksgiving getaway to Vancouver in 2012.