Tag Archives: Thanksgiving
Yesterday, right on schedule, my local expat Facebook group became very focused on one thing: Where to buy last-minute critical ingredients for Thanksgiving.
Turkeys, canned pumpkin, and cranberries were a hot topic of discussion, since the Swiss don’t generally roast turkeys, use canned pumpkin, or have much use for cranberries. Switzerland’s has approximately 2 million foreigners living in her borders–approximately 25 percent of the population. My region is higher because of the pharmaceutical industry which is headquartered in Basel. I have no idea how many of those are Americans, but it seemed like every American was searching for canned pumpkin yesterday.
I, on the other hand, have done this for many years, so I ordered my canned pumpkin in October, and I don’t care for cranberry sauce. My turkey is being delivered today–also ordered in advance rather than risking the stores not having enough. Swiss ovens are small and one year I cooked a 20-pound turkey and it was within a centimeter of the top and sides of my oven. This year, I got a 10 pounder.
Thanksgiving is simply a normal Thursday outside of the United States, although inexplicably they have Black Friday Sales all over Europe and possibly all over the world. But a normal Thursday means the kids have school and I am working. Most of my clients are American so in years past I took the day off for cooking, but I have a local client that wants to meet today, so I’m working.
The one advantage of this being a normal day is that I can run to the grocery store without feeling guilty that someone has to work on the holiday and there are no crowds. It makes it easy when I have forgotten enough eggs for pecan pie.
For most expats, being away from family on this holiday is the toughest part. It can be sad seeing pictures of your siblings and cousins gathered together, but many of us celebrate with friends. In years past, I’ve coordinated a big dinner with up to 65 people at my church, but this year we’re going for a toned down dinner.
Of course, being far away from home and family can be an advantage for some expat families. You don’t have to deal with the mother-in-law that hyper-focuses on your weight or the aunt that wants to know if you’re ever going to settle down and buy a house in Iowa like the rest of the family did. You can be blissfully alone.
But, you can also be miserably alone. For many expats, it’s a very difficult time of year. Because you have to work and the kids have school, unless your expat assignment is in Mexico or Canada, it’s just too far to get home for Thanksgiving. Many more go home for Christmas, which comes with longer breaks.
While it’s pretty easy, with advanced planning, to get everything you need for your Thanksgiving dinner in Switzerland, that’s not true in all of the world. But, regardless of where you are, and regardless of whether you’re having a traditional turkey dinner or ordering takeout, I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving.
With Thanksgiving around the corner hosts and hostesses are thinking about holiday preparations. Some find it stressful, others feel joyful about it. Either way, it’s easy to lose sight of the spirit of Thanksgiving, including gratitude, kindness, and happiness.
Countless studies have proven the psychological and physical benefits of these attributes. Why not serve up some added encouragement to spread a little happiness at the Thanksgiving table?
An especially joyful family event is made up of a mix of good memories and happy reminders, mingled with an appreciation of the present moment. That sounds easy enough, but some families find it difficult to remain in this frame of mind and buttons can be pushed, making the occasion more stressful than celebratory. Use these questions as prompts to keep an uplifting and fun conversation going. Who knows? As an added bonus you may learn some things about your friends and family that surprise you.
- Aside from the obvious (family, health, job, etc.) what are you most grateful for?
- What’s one gift or talent you have that makes you most happy and/or grateful?
- What’s one memory that still makes you laugh?
- What is biggest food failure or the wackiest Holiday/Thanksgiving memory you remember (that you can share)?
- If a UFO filled with friendly aliens landed in your backyard what would you do to make them feel welcomed?
- Name anyone who makes you smile. why?
- What choices have you made in the last five years that you’d thank yourself for making?
- What is the most memorable act of kindness you performed this past year?
- What’s the kindest thing someone did for you this past year?
- When you do something nice for someone how do you like them to express their gratitude?
- What scent makes you happy?
- Do you smile at strangers? Why or why not?
- What’s something you witnessed recently that reminded you that people are good?
- If you had a realistic wand, what would you change to bring more happiness to this world?
- If you had any 3 wishes what would they be and how/why would they make you happy?
- What one or two simple pleasure makes you feel most content?
- What’s something enjoyable you get to experience every day that you’ve come to take for granted?
- What’s your happy food?
- What celebrity would you love to meet and why would it make you happy?
- What’s the best thing that happened so far today?
- What’s the last song you heard that you enjoyed? How did it make you feel, and why?
- How about a movie? Which one have you most enjoyed lately?
- What’s one thing do you most appreciate about your home, and have you taken time to enjoy it recently?
- If you could paint the sky any other color what would it be?
- If you were moving to another country what’s one thing you would take with you to remind you of the comforts of home?
- Which one of your six senses (including intuition) most allows you to experience things that make you happy or grateful?
- What one or two things in nature have you appreciated lately?
- If someone were to surprise you with something to make you feel happy and grateful, what would it be?
- What sight or sound is most likely to make you pause to appreciate?
- In what situation(s) do you feel most free to let your silly side show?
- When you’re in a bad mood what cheers you up?
- What’s your best secret to cheer up someone else?
- What song makes you want to get up and dance?
- What was/is your favorite cartoon?
- What three things (besides food, air, and water) can you not live without?
Add a few questions of your own to customize this little game to your friend and family history. Print out the full list or put the questions on individual pieces of paper and toss them in a dish to pass. Have fun with it!
Published on: Nov 12, 2018
Thanksgiving’s three NFL matchups might be some of the most-watched games all year. But there’s a catch—the games between the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions at 12:30 p.m. Eastern, Los Angeles Chargers and Dallas Cowboys at 4:30 p.m., and New York Giants and Washington Redskins at 8:30 p.m., could have fewer viewers than years past, because of an increasing amount of cable subscribers who are cutting the cord.
But you don’t need cable to catch these games. If you’ve got a high-speed internet connection, there’s a lineup of live streaming television services that have put in a lot of practice for Thursday’s big games, which will air on FOX (fox), CBS (cbs), and NBC, respectively.
Since those are major, over-the-air networks, the easiest way to catch the games is to plug a digital, over-the-air antenna—if you have one—into the back of your television and change the channel to your local affiliate. But if you don’t have that hardware, catching the game could be as simple as downloading a smartphone app and setting up an account. Here are the live streaming television services that offer free trials that include FOX, CBS, and NBC.
You can watch games on Thanksgiving using DirecTV Now‘s seven-day free trial. After that time, the service costs $ 35 per month for a package with at least 60 live channels. That basic-level plan includes CBS, FOX, and NBC, but beware—not every subscriber is guaranteed to get those local channels (a problem that plagues all these streaming services). So, before the opening snap, check your local channel availability here.
A streaming television service geared towards sport fans, Fubo TV has a seven-day free trial which offers 70 channels. After the trial is up, the service costs $ 19 per month for the first two months, and $ 39 per month after that. Packing all sorts of sports networks like Fox Sports 1, CBS Sports, and NBC Sports Network—as well as the NFL Network—it’s made for fans of the gridiron, and not just on Thanksgiving. For an extra $ 9 per month, you can get NFL Red Zone and six different PAC12 channels, which turn this streaming service from a turkey day side dish into a season-long, all-you-can-eat football buffet.
Hulu with Live TV
Like DirecTV Now, Hulu with Live TV also offers CBS, FOX, and NBC, but it also comes with its deep library of on-demand shows, which may be good if one of the games turns into a blowout. The service is free for a week, after which it runs $ 39 per month. There’s also an option to add on a cloud DVR service, which might be a smart investment if you’ve got a house full of people distracting you from the game, or if you want to watch the halftime show again.
Sling TV offers a seven-day free preview as well as FOX and NBC, but you can only get those channels in select markets and on its higher-tiered “Blue” plan, which costs $ 25 per month after the trial. (Sling’s lower tiered “Orange” plan costs just $ 20 per month, but doesn’t have those networks.) But while Sling TV Blue also offers the NFL Network, so it might be worth keeping after Thanksgiving, if you’re a big football fan. But there is one downside to going with Sling TV: No CBS, which means no Chargers versus Cowboys game.
PlayStation Vue is a dicey proposition for football plans, but if you’ve got a PlayStation 4, it might be the streaming service for you. The service has a five-day free trial and costs as little as $ 39 per month after the promotional period ends, but you’ll want to go for either the $ 45 “Core” or $ 55 “Elite” plan, because they both pack NFL Network. Also, from Sony’s description of PlayStation Vue’s services, it’s unclear what networks the plans include, and not just because of channel availability by zip code. For instance, some pages on Vue’s website say that CBS, FOX, and NBC are included, but others only list FOX. Inconsistencies like this might cause a fumble on Thanksgiving, so beware.
Google’s take on live, streaming television, YouTube TV, has a seven-day free trial, 40 channels and an infinitely large cloud DVR capability for $ 35 per month. It’s got all the major networks, including CBS, FOX, and NBC, but the catch is that it’s only available in select markets (though, there are quite a few). YouTube TV subscriptions also give viewers access to YouTube Red, which has all sorts of original content.