I recently asked the au pairs in my cluster to share their favorite holiday memory from fall/winter 2011. I expected to have a lot of replies about Christmas, New Years and maybe Hanukkah. I was surprised that I received more replies about Thanksgiving than any other holiday. I suppose I take Thanksgiving for granted because growing up in the United States, I have celebrated every year of my life.
Below are some of the responses I received when I asked,
“What was your favorite 2011 holiday memory?”
Šárka from Czech Republic:
“Why THANKSGIVING? Well first of all we don’t celebrate this holiday in my country (Czech republic) so it was new for me. Second it was first holiday which I celebrated with my host family. Third Thanksgiving Day was simply perfect! I met relatives of family, I was the sous chef in the kitchen (haha). The food which I didn’t know was absolutely delicious. And the most important thing – the day I felt like a part of family which was great! I was talking to everyone, I wasn’t shy or something like this at all… I was just really happy that I have the opportunity to be in the US. Day after Thanksgiving I left to New York and guess what? I was thinking of my host family all the weekend and I missed them. Every holiday was really good but Thanksgiving was special to me! I am grateful for that.
Lili from Mexico:
“Thanksgiving!! My first real American Thanksgiving. In many ways this it’s my favorite one because I met the grandparents from my kids, they’re so lovely “abuelitos”. They reminded me what is to have a grandpas, all the sweetness in the world. Then my host dad made an awesome turkey and meal, everyone enjoy it. Third I made my first apple pie as gift to my host family, as a symbol of gratitude to them, for the hospitality and great family they are. I was very happy to see all the family together it was so peace and I really feel like in home. Ahh and everybody loves my apple pie. It was really good. I feel happy cause for the dad of my host mom was like the apple pie her mom used to make when little. For last the season was great. The leaves from the trees falling. Ahh my, it’s so nice. Now my favorite season for sure its fall, all the different colors, brown, yellow, red…was the perfect Thanksgiving. I’m really happy and lucky to be here and experience it myself.
Alex from Austria:
“Guess what my favorite holiday is in the States? again.. THANKSGIVING!!!
Christmas was always my favorite holiday, but maybe that was because we don’t have Thanksgiving in Austria. I cooked with the family, we ate all together. I met a lot of new family members, we were playing a Thanksgiving play that my host child got from school. We danced to a silly song and just had fun. The best part was their family tradition – they have every Thanksgiving the same table cloths. They are white with a lot of things written on it… every year everybody who is there has to write something on it: something they are thankful for, a few nice words or just the name – it doesn’t matter. But it’s really cool. I got to write something on it too. It was great.
“They are the ugliest but most beautiful table clothes I have ever seen” (like everybody says in the family.)
Swantje from Germany:
“Mine was Thanksgiving too. Firstly it was my first holiday with the whole family in America. Secondly, the whole family came together. All aunts and uncles and their kids came to grandma’s. We played football with all of them, including grandma and grandpa. It was the first time I played it and it was so much fun for all. We had a great dinner with all the typical thing you can imagine … it was deeeelicious! It was so great to be with such a big family and I really enjoyed that day. I will remember it my whole life, I hope.