Thanksgiving has come and gone, and I’m getting a little sad. I long each year for the return of autumn and then it all comes so fast. The fact that Thanksgiving came so early this year (the earliest it can ever be) did not help this feeling. I feel a little frantic and am worried I have yet to purchase a single Christmas gift –

Side note – I actually had begun my Christmas shopping only to realize my friend already owned the presents I bought  her. Yup, there’s a reason they seemed to perfect for her. End side note.

So, I’m trying to slow down and take in what is left of the autumn before the Christmas season is fully open us. I’ve been thinking much about previous Thanksgivings with family and friends.

Growing up overseas, we were not surrounded by family. Therefore, a holiday such as Thanksgiving allowed you to invite friends and acquaintances to join in the festivities, and in some bizarre way it really did become very much about the people who joined you at your table. 

I still remember one Thanksgiving where there were so many people at our house that we had tables stretching into the foyer. At our table sat Canadians, Australians, American, Scots – to name a few.

In college, my parents’ house became a home for many of my friends unable to travel all the way to their own homes, and so Thanksgiving became a mini-reunion.

For many, many years, we spent the Thanksgiving with the same family, and I still get a little sad when I think about no longer joining them.

In the years since college, my girlfriends and I have all trooped down to Georgia to celebrate and I’ve flown to Scotland to have a solitary Thanksgiving with my parents.

Last year, my husband and I were on our honeymoon during Thanksgiving and feasted at a hotel in Middlebury, Vermont.

This year is the first I have spent with my in-laws and my parents were able to join their family as well. It’s the first Thanksgiving I have ever had (or at least remember) at which I’ve been related to everyone there.

What struck me this Thanksgiving were my non-American friends, scattered around the globe, who were gathering with loved-ones to celebrate this holiday. While certainly it is about the food, there’s something so wonderful about gathering around a table, with those we love, laughing, enjoying our time together and giving thanks for our bounty.