This isn’t my first Thanksgiving away from home, but it is my first Thanksgiving away from family. Since moving to Australia in March and living with my wonderful boyfriend Ben he has done everything he possibly can to take care of me. He supports me and has been the most loving person I could ever imagine – making me feel special every day. Sappy moment done.
I have wanted to do something special for Ben for a while, but without having means (aka money) I found it challenging to do something that would live up to the big things he does for me. Food seems to be the one area I really excel, and I knew that I could show my appreciation and thanks to Ben by cooking him a surprise Thanksgiving dinner. This would be his first Thanksgiving – ever!
I spent the entire day preparing the food for dinner:
Brussles Sprout Salad (minus the bacon)
Mashed Potatoes with Herbed Butter
Leek, Cherry, and Chestnut Stuffing (I changed this recipe so much that I think I’ll make it for the blog someday)
Mini Apple Pies (my aunts recipe – another one for the blog)
And setting the table with homemade placemats, dip dyed napkins, diy glitter vases, and flowers. It’s really hard to decorate for Thanksgiving in countries that don’t celebrate but I tried my best with the décor.
I wrote Ben a note wishing him a happy first thanksgiving, and letting him know that I wanted to thank him for all he has done for me since I came to Australia. I left the note on the bed and hid in the bathroom when I heard his car pull into the driveway. He had already seen the table set up outside so he knew something was up.
He left me alone as I finished up the sides and only popped out to take a few photos of the cooking process.
I somehow finished all of the dishes at the same time (major planning to make that happen); and our housemate Andy followed Ben and I outside to document the start of my first Thanksgiving in Australia… and Ben’s first Thanksgiving ever!
Our Publix Pilgrim Pair was stalking our meal…
Just look at them eyeing that food…
Following dinner I heated up the mini apple pies while we finished washing dishes; and ate dessert before the turkey sleepies kicked in and we headed to bed…. but not for long!
Around 1am I woke Ben up (he asked to be woken up) and we watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade online. I shed a tear (or many tears) as my stream finally worked just as The Rockettes started to preform. I shed more tears as I received a text message video from my sister with a video of the Rockettes she recorded for me (read about my love of the Rockettes here). And then cried once again when I was able to FaceTime with my family for the remainder of the parade.
My first Thanksgiving in Australia was meant to be a special surprise for Ben… but at the end of the day he made my first holiday away from family special for me. I can’t thank him enough for being so supportive and loving… and my family for incorporating me into their holiday through hours of FaceTime calls, even though I am thousands of miles away.
Holiday Cry Count: 6…. it’s only going to get worse as we approach Christmas.
How did you spend your Thanksgiving?