Sure, there’s the risk of eating too much pumpkin pie, but Thanksgiving can make Americans living abroad feel a different kind of sick--homesick.
Unlike Christmas and Easter, it’s a holiday that dawns just another day in Luxembourg, which can tug at the hearts of those used to family gatherings, a turkey in the oven, the Macy’s parade and football on the TV.
So special events organized here, like the American Women’s Club of Luxembourg Thanksgiving lunch, held Wednesday, are about more than just the turkey and cranberry sauce--it’s a real taste of home and community.
“It’s a chance to celebrate together, and pay our thanks to club members for their hard work throughout the year,” says club president Connie Gomez.
Gomez says she’s grateful that the club is here to help women make the adjustment to life in Luxembourg and find new friends and support. The club has members from all backgrounds and ages and offers countless activities ranging from hiking and reading groups to language studies and cinema nights.
AWCL member Marijane Andreopoulos says: “I love Thanksgiving. Giving thanks is something we should be doing everyday.” She’s been a very active member of this club--and the American Women’s club in Greece before that--and is someone who people often thank… she does loads for others!
Olivia Schoenfeld was indeed thankful to join in--as a veterinarian who does house-calls and a mother of two youngsters, she didn’t have time to make the feast like those she’d grown up with in New York. “It’s still really important to me,” she says, “so I’m grateful to be here.”
Canadian Katherine Dorey was among the crowd, which included many non-Americans who are also very welcome to join the AWCL. Do Canadians also celebrate Thanksgiving with turkey and cranberries? In typical Canadian fashion, she cheerfully answered, “You bet!”
Canadians beat the US to the table, celebrating their holiday in October.