As an American who lives in Ireland, I miss Thanksgiving. It’s not a national holiday here, so the day after Halloween, the scary ghosts and witches are replaced by all things Christmas. I do love Christmas, but I long for the interlude of gratitude that Thanksgiving represents. It can be tricky for expats who want to do the traditional thing while living here. Adults are not off work, kids aren’t off school, and some of the usual food items are difficult to procure. And of course, if your spouse is Irish (like mine is), they didn’t grow up with fond family memories of sitting around a table with a Thanksgiving feast set before them. My husband doesn’t mind celebrating Thanksgiving, but he wouldn’t really miss it if it didn’t happen.
Nevertheless, our family have celebrated Thanksgiving every year, and it’s one of the kids’ favorite holidays. Since my husband works from home and we homeschool, it’s not been as complicated as it would otherwise be. I don’t know if it will happen this year with our daughter still in the hospital and several other family members sick with various other serious complaints. I must say, I am a little melancholy about that.
However, I do not need a special day in order to be thankful. As Jane Austen wrote in another of the prayers she composed:
And I do have much to be thankful for; so much that I could not possibly list it all here. And even if I could, would it really make interesting reading for you? I think not. But might I entreat you to make a list of your own blessings? It will surprise you, once you start writing them down, just how many there are. And as Jane Austen said in the prayer I quoted at the start of this post, may we not deserve to lose them by discontent or indifference.
I will leave you with one final prayer written by Jane Austen:
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