Day 119: Thanksgiving Week

It feels really different to be in Holland for Thanksgiving. I don’t think I’ve ever been out of the USA for this holiday and the feel and vibe is soooo different, of course. People aren’t frantically shopping and searching for the best deal on Turkeys. Instead, we’re calling the local butcher shops to see if they can even get us a turkey for 100 euros!! The stores aren’t any more crowded than usual, and the conversation at school isn’t about being excited for a shortened week or leaving the office early or planning a short vacation.  The vibe is different and I miss it – not the stress, but the feeling of the swirl and chaos that surround Thanksgiving. We’re still celebrating it here – just a bit differently this year, and that’s ok. I’m just missing home a wee bit!

Today the American Community from our International School hosted a  lovely Thanksgiving coffee with traditional Thanksgiving food to taste and sample.


There were turkey sandwiches, cranberry sauce, stuffing, pumpkin pie and cookies and muffins, pecan chocolate pie, and on and on. The tables were beautifully decorated and the feeling of Thanksgiving permeated the room. I loved it, and this got me a little excited for the rest of the week.

Today we opened the Thanksgiving Care Package that arrived in the mail from April and Steve and J and S.


You have no idea how thankful I am to receive such a thoughtful and meaningful gift. The box was filled with Thanksgiving day decorations, plates, candy, the kids favorite snacks, pumpkin filling and spices, gravy packages and even stuffing! How thoughtful, right? It’s hard to find such “gold” here! Last year April and I planned and cooked our Thanksgiving dinner together and it was really nice. I’m missing that this year!! ;-(

Tomorrow is a normal day in Holland with a full day of school and continued basketball tryouts afterwards. I bought two turkey breasts and plan to make a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for our family anyway. Anyone want to join us?  It won’t be served at 4, but probably more like 7 or 8 pm!! 

On Saturday, we’ll have a more traditional Thanksgiving gathering with some of our American friends. I’m excited for the potluck we’re pulling together and to not have to do it alone. I think Thanksgiving has to be shared – the whole feeling of family and friends gathering to share a special feast and to give thanks for fellowship and our blessings. 

Our family holidays are not traditional and our actual tradition is to not have a tradition. This simplifies things – as there are no expectations and anything goes. This year we’ll celebrate on Saturday instead of Thursday… never have done this before, so I’m continuing on with our tradition. 

Happy Thanksgiving – eat up and be merry!!

xo Adriana


8 thoughts on “Day 119: Thanksgiving Week

  1. Thank you for this post today Adriana, with a family crisis in the center of such a fun time of year has put a damper on a holiday that we should be thankful for. You made me realize that, no matter what is going on in life, I can still be thankful for the love I have for my family and how truly blessed I am. I know I don’t comment on every blog( that could be because I forgot my word press password) but I truly look forward to your blog. It gives me a taste of another part of the world. So, thank you for taking the time to share with us this once in a lifetime experience.

    • Oh, Michelle – I’m sorry that your family is dealing with crisis right now. I understand and it must be hard to focus on the good when the bad is happening simultaneously. I wish you peace and strength as you work through the crisis. Continue to be thankful for your blessings and focus on what’s good. It doesn’t make the sh** go away, but I find that it helps to get past or through the struggles and fills your heart with love and grace. Wishing you all the best. xo

      • Thanks Adriana- I am thankful that it isn’t a crisis within my own little family, but it still affects us the same. Anytime my focus strays and I think of the sh** , I just look at my little man and it makes it all go away!!! Happy Thanksgiving Adriana and continue to bring us your life in Holland!!

  2. Happy Thanksgiving. I would think this would be the time that you would miss being in the US more than any. The rest of the holidays during your year there are celebrated much the same, and as you’ve already experienced, there are new ones too! Thanksgiving is just such a significant American thing – that we’ve now got used to very much, and would also miss it now (after 13 years!) if we left! … There are still some holidays we miss from our country; but it’s fun to celebrate all the holidays and here in the Bay Area – all the religious holidays too. Last weekend we were celebrating Diwali, we’ll be celebrating Hanukkah soon, and then Christmas! It’s all good 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving Adriana and family. xxx

    • So glad you’re enjoying the beautiful traditions of the United States. We are enjoying our experience, and you’re right – missing home this week! But having a homemade traditional Thanksgiving dinner last night made me feel better. The kids were thrilled. You are so fortunate to share all the special holidays with friends in the bay area – I love any reason for a celebration!! 😉 Hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving. xo

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