MMP: Expat Holidays–Can a Girl Get A Christmas Card?

by Rebecca A. Watson on December 2, 2014

in expat, gratitude, health, holidays, Monday Morning Pages, Thanksgiving

I put a 9 kilogram (19 pound) turkey in my German oven this weekend. It fit. Barely. And I have what is considered a full size oven here. It was also the most delicious turkey I’ve ever made, which is great considering a bunch of folks I was serving had never even seen a full turkey, let alone eat one.

Yes, this year we did Epic American Thanksgiving. Of the 17 people there, only six were Americans. Some had never celebrated the holiday before. Imagine my delight.


I think we may have started a tradition. Everyone had a blast, but what hit home for me was how one American said he felt like he had a real Thanksgiving this year. It’s a special holiday, of course, but I guess I didn’t notice last year how important it was to be around good people and delicious food. I was so busy.

Working, putting together a home, learning German and writing is a lot. That is overwhelming.

But the year before I got it.

Quit making excuses silly girl and just spend time with people. I am always making excuses. Always saying no. Time to do more yes stuff 🙂

And that feeling is magnified this year, partly because I have had more time to notice, actually being a little more settled this year, but partly because I’m living in a different country, which offers a whole new type of loneliness.

I mean, not having anywhere to go on Thanksgiving is pretty brutal, but not even having the holiday there brings up a unique kind of sadness. There is something really special about that four day weekend and having the camaraderie of your fellow man around you.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the fact that the grocery stores weren’t packed full but it was weird celebrating on a Saturday. It felt odd working on Thursday.

I’m super grateful for all the folks I have in my life. Obviously we’ve done pretty well for ourselves here in a year if we can fill our home with good people wanting to share a special occasion together.

I mean c’mon! And we definitely showed our gratitude, American style — tons of food and hand turkeys!

hand turkey

But for whatever reason I’m feeling lonely. And when a friend posted this on Facebook, it really struck me:

For all my friends, whether close or casual, just because. This is one of the longest posts I will ever make, and one of the most real too. Everyone will go through some hard times at some point.

Life isn’t easy. Just something to think about. Did you know the people that are the strongest are usually the most sensitive? Did you know the people who exhibit the most kindness are the first to get mistreated? Did you know the ones who take care of others all the time are usually the ones who need it the most?

Did you know the three hardest things to say are I love you, I’m sorry, and help me? Sometimes just because a person looks happy, you have to look past their smile to see how much pain they may be in.

To all my friends who are going through some issues right now–let’s start an intentional avalanche. We all need positive intentions right now. If I don’t see your name, I’ll understand.

May I ask my friends wherever you might be, to kindly copy and paste this status for one hour to give a moment of support to all of those who have family problems, health struggles, job issues, worries of any kind and just needs to know that someone cares.

Do it for all of us, for nobody is immune. I hope to see this on the walls of all my friends just for moral support. I know some will!!! I did it for a friend and you can too. You have to copy and paste this one, NO SHARING… I will leave it in the comments so it is easier for you to copy paste!

The emphasis is mine, and that’s because it really resonated with me. “Help me” doesn’t come out of my mouth as easily as it probably could. It took a little time, but I did write something in my status.

Friends: If you are sending out Christmas/Holiday cards this year and don’t mind paying $1.15 for the stamp, I would really love to get one PM me and I’ll give you my address.

I’m posting this here as well because I would love to get a card from you if you’re sending them. Just email me and I’ll give you an address where you can send the cards.

Regardless I think it’s a great idea to post a status similar to the one my friend did. Remind people that they aren’t alone and that it’s OK to ask for help. And if you’re feeling low too, I encourage you to reach out as well.

Sending you all hugs on this wonderful December day!

Wondering what this Monday Morning Pages thing is all about? Read how it started. Or check out all the archives

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Monica December 3, 2014 at 3:28 am

Sweet Becca! I love your spirit and joy. You make me remember to be light. It’s even in a Christmas song “let your heart be light”. How perfect! The hand turkeys are an EPIC win!


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