The thought of spending a holiday by myself, especially a family-centric holiday like Thanksgiving, was quite distressing to me. Despite it being a national holiday designed to give thanks for the abundance of blessings in my life back in America, this past Thursday was just another ordinary day here at York. I woke up and began my typical Thursday routine, which admittedly consists of a little classwork and a whole lot of Netflix. With the five-hour time zone change, I rang my family early in the morning east standard time to share my endless appreciation and love, but unfortunately, my family could not talk for long- there was a turkey that needed attending to after all!
After I hung up the phone with my family, I decided to do my research on the best restaurant in town that served turkey and to confirm if the rumors I had heard about the lack of pumpkin pie in England were true. To my dismay, the list was quite short, and NO! Pumpkin pie is not a thing here! Not only was it going to be a Thanksgiving without friends or family this year, but also one without the delicious food.
Imagine my excitement when I received a call from my best friend in York, Brenden, who also happens to be American. “Happy Thanksgiving!” I screamed, before he could even manage to squeeze a word in. Brenden must have read the same article about the pumpkin pie shortage, because he immediately suggested that we should host our own Thanksgiving dinner with some of his English flat mates. Unfortunately, gathering the traditional Thanksgiving ingredients was a much larger challenge than we had anticipated, so we landed on an English classic instead- chicken curry. And for dessert- a millionaire’s cheesecake! We should have seen it coming, but a lack of pumpkin pie goes hand in hand with a lack of whipped pumpkin.
Sure, it may not have been the family get-together over a giant turkey dinner that I am used to, but instead it gave Thanksgiving a whole new meaning to me. For the first time that day, I was able to see that Thanksgiving is a day of gratitude no matter where I am, and family is a word that extends far beyond blood relatives. What was the most important lesson of them all? Well, that’s easy. Even chicken curry tastes better on Thanksgiving!