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Food, Fun and Family: Celebrating Thanksgiving in London

Ahhh, the winter holidays are some of my favorite times of the year. Everyone decides to put work and reality aside and come together to have fun and enjoy each others company.

Now usually this time of the year consists of people going back to their hometown on break from university. Time is spent with your friends from home and your family, at least this is how most holiday seasons have been for me in the past. Except this year is much different because I got to spend one of my favorite holidays, Thanksgiving, in London.

I was really sad about not getting to see my family on such a special time of the year but I was happy that I got to create new experiences. I'm not going to lie, my day started out a bit stressful.

Thanksgiving is not a holiday that people celebrate here in the UK, therefore, school is NOT cancelled :( a very sad thing. And it just so happens that I had one of the hardest parts of my theatre class to prepare for, a presentation that counted for a large percentage of my grade. I think I did pretty well, and luckily afterward I got to go and spend some time with my cousins. 

Yes, one of the parts that made me feel even better is that fact that my cousins live in London. So, right after my presentation, I bought a bottle of wine as a present, and then got on the tube and headed down to the Canary Warf. My cousins live in a skyscraper where I got a great view of the city and could see all the city lights.

Their flat is so quaint and the perfect place to have a Thanksgiving feast. Along with my cousins Brandon and Tina, two of their friends from New York had flown in to spend time with them, which gave me the chance to meet new people. 

Right when I walked into their flat, I could smell the sweet scents of all the fabulous food that Tina had been cooking. The flat was also decorated with all types of Christmas decorations that lightened up the atmosphere.

There was so much delicious food being prepared that it felt exactly like Thanksgiving in the States and at home. 

While the food finished cooking, the rest of us sat around having a few drinks, talking and catching up on how our lives were going. That is one of the great things about getting to spend Thanksgiving in London, I got the chance to see family that I do not usually get to see often. It just so happened to work out perfectly with them living here the exact same time I was studying abroad in London

With much anticipation and excitement, dinner was ready! The sight of the food on the plates was so comforting and even better, it tasted absolutely delicious. The plates were filled with mash potatoes (my Grandma’s famous recipe), green beans, turkey, and several types dessert. Let just say, I ate A LOT, enough for a small army. Brandon and Tina packed me enough leftovers to last me a week. I was more than grateful and so happy to take all my goodies home with me. 

After relaxing a bit and letting the food settle, my cousin showed us his amazing guitar skills. Then it was time for me to head back to good ole’ Harrow where I would be spending time with all of my friends. All of my fellow American friends as well as my English friends gathered around in my kitchen, ate food and played tons of fun games. There was so much laughter and it was a great way to end the night.
I am so grateful that I got to spend the day with family and all my new friends. So many memories were made that will last a lifetime!

Laura Koch is the Fall 2013 CEA MOJO in London, England. She is currently a sophomore at Georgia State University.

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