While Americans were getting out of bed this morning with dreams of turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes with marshmallows and green beans smothering in onion rings dancing in their heads, I was sitting down to lunch at the Mess.
You probably don’t remember, but I sponsored a Thanksgiving Day lunch last year, providing the fixings while the chefs prepared the meal. It had a good reception so I had planned on a repeat. Cheryl, the Dental Exchange Officer made a contribution as well (making my pocket book a bit more cheerful).
Perhaps there are those who find some major significance in the holiday, making long speeches or looking at long cultural traditions.
For me, it is a holiday devoid of heavy religious implications or obligations. Instead, it is the one holiday a year that revolves around celebrating with family and friends.
Thanksgiving at a British Officers’ Mess is not exactly sitting down with my family (daughter at University in the US, husband in transit somewhere in Europe, daughter in school in Germany, son at school in Kent, daughter at work in Germany), nor was it similar to having Thanksgiving with several thousand of your best friends deployed in a sandbox but still.
I was surround by people enjoying their meal, taking time to visit and relax with friends. There was enough left over that the entire serving staff was able to eat as well.
Even more impressive was that there were those who apparently did an imitation of the tradition full stomach sleep in front of the TV for the afternoon. Of course, they happened to be attending the Public Health Forum with a speaker who turned out the lights after lunch.