Coming to the United States as an international student from Sweden, Igot introduced to many new traditions and holidays. Some of these holidaysare also celebrated in Sweden, for example Christmas and Easter, even if wemight celebrate them a little differently.
But, I also got to experiencenew and different traditions. One of the new traditions I got toexperience was how to celebrate a “real” American Thanksgiving. The firsttime I celebrated it, I was 17 years old and didn’t think too much of it. Of course, I thought that it was nice to get some time off from school andhave a delicious meal, but there wasn’t much more to it than that. But now,a couple of years older, living on my own, far away from my family,Thanksgiving has gotten a whole other meaning to it, and I absolutely lovethis holiday. To me, Thanksgiving is a time to spend with the family, atime to show them how thankful you are for having them, and a time to tellthem how much you appreciate them.Order now
Since my own family is in Sweden there was no question of where myboyfriend, Ryan, and me were going to spend Thanksgiving this year. Hisfamily lives in Connecticut so we packed our bags and flew up to the chillybut absolutely gorgeous little state in the North East. I have been theremany times before and every time his parents welcome me with open arms,like I am one of their own. This makes me feel like I really am part of thefamily and that I belong there for this holiday. We stayed at their houseand they served us like it was their job.
On Thanksgiving Day we left foran early lunch at the Grandparents house and after that we went to theother Grandparents to have dinner. That way, we got to see the whole familyon Thanksgiving Day, and that was our goal. Even if we had to spend sometime driving around, it was well worth it as we got to see how ourappearance made everybody feel happy. If our appearance made everybody else happy it was nothing compared tohow it made us feel. Both Ryan, and me were ecstatic that we were able tocome home and be with the family on this day and we were determined to showthem how thankful we were for having them. But, Thanksgiving is not a timewhere you show other people your appreciation by buying them gifts, likeyou do for Christmas, so instead we tried to simply make sure that weacted, and told, everybody how thankful we were for having them.
There arelots of ways you can show people you appreciation. This Thanksgiving, forexample, I said a Swedish prayer before dinner, even though I’m not veryreligious at all. But, Ryan’s grandfather was born in Sweden, and wished tohear some Swedish, so I thought it was a good opportunity to make himhappy, and I was right. The only thing this old man wanted to talk aboutfor the rest of the evening was my prayer. It was nice to see how somethingso simple could make someone so happy. Making people happy and show them how thankful you are for having themis nice, but I feel that the most important thing is to tell people thatare close to you how much you love and appreciate them.
Acting and tellingpeople that are close to you, how much you love them are something youshould always do, but somehow it seems to be easy to treat the ones youlove carelessly every now and then. Therefore it is nice to have at leastone day when you really think about how you act and what you say. Thanksgiving, I think, is a great opportunity for doing just that. When Iwoke up this Thanksgiving morning, the first thing I did was turningaround, looking straight into Ryan’s dark brown eyes, and whisper:- “I love you”. Celebrating Thanksgiving is, for me, all about being with the family,showing them emotions.
As I mentioned earlier, this is a holiday that wedon’t have in Sweden and I have to admit that Swedes are missing out onsomething. Not only is the turkey dinner delicious, but the familygathering, the thankfulness, and the appreciation that fills the air is, atleast to me, so valuable. .