Being away from your family and friends while living overseas can make the Thanksgiving public holiday one of the loneliest days of the year – but it doesn’t have to be! Cooking an indulgent Thanksgiving spread and celebrating this special American holiday no matter where you are in the world, is easier than ever. Here, we’re taking a closer look at how you can have the ultimate expat Thanksgiving this year.
Creating the perfect Thanksgiving spread
The first and most important step to any Thanksgiving celebration in the US or around the world is of course, the food. Coordinating the purchase of your spread can be difficult, particularly when living in a country that doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving. While some expat families may begin planning their Thanksgiving meal in advance, or asking family and friends to send or bring certain Thanksgiving essentials with them on a trip to your new home, don’t fret if you’ve left your spread to the last minute. There are a number of products that you can source in your local supermarket or street market, and even if you can’t find exact replicas of the Thanksgiving foods that you may have enjoyed back in the USA, you should be able to create a ‘Thanksgiving inspired’ meal with the local cuisine of your new home country – Thanksgiving with a twist!
Choose a date
Unfortunately, many workers will not receive the day off for Thanksgiving when living abroad, and the last thing anyone wants to do after a long day’s work is to recreate the festivity at home. Instead, plan to host your delicious Thanksgiving dinner the weekend after Thanksgiving Thursday. This means you won’t have to rush your holiday preparations, and can truly enjoy the meaning behind Thanksgiving. Plus, you will have much more time to perfect your dishes for everyone to delve into!
Spread the word!
The date is set, and it’s time to get the word out. While Thanksgiving is a single day for Americans, an expats Thanksgiving can last for up to four days! It doesn’t matter whether you decide to send a formal Thanksgiving invitation, convenient text message or mention your celebrations to colleagues and friends in passing, make sure everybody is aware of the big day in order to get the big gathering with your new expat family. The good news is that the average cost of a Thanksgiving dinner for ten people has fallen to $49.87, so you won’t have to break the bank to feed everyone. Just don’t forget the tangy cranberry sauce and buttery mash potatoes at the table, or you won’t be a very popular host!
Finding out where to buy a turkey is ultimately the first step to recreating the ideal Thanksgiving dinner in your new home country. While you can buy a bird in a supermarket in the US, in some countries, such as France, you will have to go to a butcher or local turkey farmer and reserve a Turkey a number of weeks in advance. Make sure you know how to get your hands on one in time for the big day wherever you are in the world!
Alongside the meal preparation and strenuous hours spent over the stove, Thanksgiving is a great time to get crafty and decorate your home. You can even turn your creativity into something more adult-friendly by making good use of your leftover cranberry sauce and turning it into a festive frozen slushy by freezing it and mixing it in a blender before serving in a martini glass mixed with your favourite beverage. Alternatively, ask your children to design easy-to-make paper chains and hang them throughout your home for a cosy, family vibe.
Not living in the US doesn’t mean you have to miss out on Thanksgiving. In fact, an expat Thanksgiving provides you with the opportunity to really make this traditional holiday your own. You might feel as though you have a lot to live up to, but hosting Thanksgiving for the first time in your new home country doesn’t have to be a worry. If you need to, simply purchase parts of your meal from the store if you can’t find the correct ingredients to make your secret recipes – although everyone is certain to miss your homemade sweet pumpkin pie.
It’s not too late to get started now either. There’s more than enough time to visit your local supermarket and get all the ingredients and specialities you need to create the perfect celebration day. Happy Thanksgiving!
If you’re considering relocating abroad and you want to discuss how we can help you on moving day, get in touch with a member of our friendly expert team today!