|No party is complete without the Photo Booth!|
I had never actually thrown my own Thanksgiving, and the task was a bit daunting. That's where my friend Crystal came in. She is a Friendsgiving veteran (and the author of the Swedes Are Sweet blog), and was able to help me put together a bit of a timeline of cooking, decorating, and she did a fantastic job with the turkey. We packed over 20 people in our little apartment, and had an absolute blast! The night before the party, Crystal and I sat drinking glögg (Swedish mulled wine), watched old episodes of Allt för Sverige, and made the beautiful hats and masks that you see in the picture above. It took us back to the days of crafting in grade school, and was a fun conversation piece for our friends. The three Americans at the party tried to explain the origins of Thanksgiving, and more importantly, how the holiday has evolved through the years.
This year we will be hosting Thanksgiving again (with the help of Crystal), but I don't have the luxury of bringing everything from home this time. I have had to order some products from the American Food and Gift Store in Uppsala, and I've found recipes for things like stuffing on Pinterest, so I can make it myself. The turkey has been purchased (on sale), and the dinner music playlist has been made, so now all that's left is to gather all the ingredients, create some new decorations, and prepare for our most intense dinner party yet!
I know there are many American expats here, and there are so many discussions about the holiday on forums, and in Facebook groups, but I wonder how our Swedish friends feel about the holiday, and how the Americans feel about their ability to throw an authentic dinner. Does it make you sad to have to change your traditions for your new home, or do you enjoy the challenge and the inspirations you get to make the day your own? What really got me thinking about this was an article that Crystal sent me called "The 17 Rules of Friendsgiving", and I realized that those rules really can't/don't apply to anyone throwing a Thanksgiving dinner outside of the US. Sure, you can ask your Swedish friends to bring side dishes, but stuffing isn't really a thing here - and if you asked someone to bring a pie, you will get something more like a tart or a cobbler (not to say they aren't delicious - but it's just not the same).
Thanksgiving is beginning to become my favorite holiday, and it makes me feel even more festive being able to share my homeland traditions with my friends.