Is it just me or are the years going by quicker? One minute I’m pulling down the dusty boxes of Christmas decorations, and the next thing I know Christmas is over. I’m reluctant to stop listening to the music or watching Christmas films, as that will make the realisation that another Christmas is over, all the more real.
Perhaps the reason this season goes by so quickly is that we all have so much to do during the holidays. I hope you enjoyed this festive season, I was as busy as one of Santa’s elves and I certainly enjoyed myself.
To kick off the season, Luke and I, along with Neil and Nicola attended the Christmas Lights at Stony Stratford Switch On on Saturday, 28 November. We made a day of it, walking into Stony all bundled up, walking around the market stalls (even though we didn’t buy anything) and of course making a stop to see our friends at the Stony Wine Emporium for some delicious mulled wine.
In the evening there was a Lantern Parade, there were hundreds of entries from various local businesses, organisations, and children. I was impressed at the level of artistry of some of the lanterns; Luke’s photos couldn’t do them justice. The number of people that participated was incredible and gave a real sense of community that you just don’t get in a lot of places. The Lights Switch On was a big hit, and it felt so magical to see all those fairy lights twinkle for the first time.
We celebrated an English Thanksgiving that Sunday, a few days later than America’s tradition but unfortunately the Queen doesn’t recognise US bank holidays. It was my first Thanksgiving dinner that I did without the supervision of my mom or grandma. I think Neil and Nicola were particularly nervous about the experience, especially when I started making the casseroles (green bean and sweet potato). Luke wasn’t as concerned, last year he tried “Thanksgiving” food and enjoyed it.
|Preparing the stuffing|
I think the part I was most concerned about was finding the food items needed for the meal. Last year Lindsay had done her take on a Thanksgiving dinner and had the biggest trouble finding a Turkey in November. Thankfully the English supermarkets were forgiving and I was able to get all the ingredients I needed. Only one posed a problem for me, fried onions. American readers will know exactly what I’m talking about. But for my English readers, they are onions that are fried to oblivion so they basically are small onion crisps. I had to make a substitution for overly cooked onion rings, not really the same thing.
|The completed masterpiece|
All the flavours of home were there, although nothing was quite as perfect as it usually is. For a first attempt I did pretty well and it was a learning experience. I know there are things I will do differently next time. And now that I have all my family’s Thanksgiving recipes I will be doing an English Thanksgiving for every year I’m not back in the States.