So, today is Thanksgiving Day. Why does that matter to me as a European? Most people on the continent (how the British call Europe:-) do not give a hoot about it, but once you have lived in the US for a while you realise that this is a great Holiday, which unites people over there despite differences in religion. And that is a good thing, especially in today's world with so many problems, hatred, suspicion and prejudice.
But I wanted to share my story. I worked in the US for over 4 years as a postdoc (a scientist who has not much money:-), arriving from a socialist country in 1996. I was alone, just started a month before, all my possessions fitted into a single suitcase (many of them are my favourite books, obviously no E-book readers then!) worked in the lab all the time, and had no idea about Thanksgiving. My boss asked me one day before Thanksgiving where I was about to celebrate. I replied that most likely at home in my empty apartment, alone. She immediately invited me to join her family the next day and celebrate together.
"Nobody should be alone at Thanksgiving" -she said.
It was not a big party, really close family of hers only, yet I was welcomed as a stranger, and this is how I spent my first Thanksgiving with people I did not know before and strangely I found something there which I could only compare to a Christmas feeling with my own family.
I left the US a long time ago, but I celebrate Thanksgiving every year since then.
See you next time!