We moved to the US in 2013 and spent five amazing years out there and it is truly our second home! Our youngest was born just outside of Chicago, we shared some very happy times and formed the most wonderful friendships so much so, they are our extended family!
We consciously moved to an area with few expats and so were fully immersed in the culture and traditions. Americans are very passionate people and celebrate so many occasions; July 4th was always so fun, but our favourite was always Thanksgiving!
Americans generally believe that their Thankgiving is modeled on a 1621 harvest feast shared by the English colonists of Plymouth and the Wampanoag people. People use it as a day to reflect on the positive things in life and spend time with their families, they get one or two days off school and work, and it marks the beginning of the Christmas holiday season.
A holiday celebrating and appreciating all that you have with the ones you love, can it get better?! We'd be invited to people's homes for what felt like Christmas Day (minus the gifts) to eat great food and hang out, it was awesome and I wish our family over there a very Happy Thanksgiving!!!
Clare and I talk to our kids on a very regular basis about gratitude. I ask our kids most nights what they were grateful for that day, and they come up with the lovliest and often hilarious thoughts! Since we don't have a holiday tradition like this in the UK, we both feel that this is a really important subject for our children.
I was just thinking though, that there is a great deal of irony surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday. As we celebrate everything and everyone we have on Thursday, 'we' are waking up the next day to shop the Black Friday deals! So despite being grateful and content, 'we' want more?!
Do we really need more though? Why are we being tempted into more? What if we could could fight back and express gratitude to our planet by consuming less? Desiring less could mean that less things get manufactured, less resources being extracted from the earth, less things accumulating carbon miles, less things going to landfill.
If we must buy things, let's be more conscious, choose the eco friendly compostable, recyclable, long lasting options over the single use, short life products (usually made from plastic), buy local and small and let's be grateful for this wonderful planet we live on!