When autumn came, many of our friends in the States asked us, “Won’t you be sad to not have a Thanksgiving? What will you do?”
As it turns out, we have had quite a remarkable Thanksgiving weekend so far. Thursday we helped out with a service in a nearby village (you can read about it here). When we got home Thursday night we were thrilled to find a very kind Thanksgiving card from some family in Missouri. Friday, Rob went back to his research work as he has a paper due next week, and Beth and the children stayed close to home. “Field Trip Friday” was modified with Mr. Ray coming to the house for lunch and coffee. The children had a list of questions they wanted to ask him. They were not disappointed. They talked about what it was like to live here during WWII. He told them of the old pence, shilling, and pound monetary system that was still in use unit the 1960’s. He shared a few other tales that we will share in later posts. Friday night we got together with some friends who are also here for a PhD and hail from Tennessee. It is always a good time with them. As a bonus, Rob enjoys having someone to discuss (American) Football with.
On Saturday we visited some friends we met through the work at the Cathedral. They love to host folks for an American Thanksgiving meal. They included us with their family and the friends-who-are-like-family that included a Scotsman from Glasgow. He tried to talk Joshua into marking his calendar for Robert Burns’ day when they will celebrate with a haggis meal. Yeah, we will keep you posted on that one. So, yep, we had our third Thanksgiving dinner in as many days. We can’t recall the last time we had three full Thanksgiving meals in one weekend. Maybe it is time to start a new tradition. Are you listening Alabama family?!?
When we got home Thursday night, we were overjoyed to find that the Royal Mail had delivered a box. Wrapped in mysterious brown paper, we couldn’t imagine what would be inside. The children quickly opened it to find a Christmas box filled with supplies to create your own ornaments. A dear friend from Alabama had sent all the makings for Christmas Baubles (that English for ornaments). Meg and Beth stayed up late Friday night making decorations.
This Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent marking the four Sundays before Christmas. We have begun to decorate the house with the nativity scene, stockings, and some other small things. The Christmas tree will go up soon. As we think about the anticipation of celebrating Jesus’ birth, we are filled with blessings in ways we could have never anticipated before we left for England. We are giving thanks for the family and friends, near and afar, who are making this a wonderfully memorable holiday.