To say that this Thanksgiving was better than last year’s would be an immense understatement. Being in a new home can make adapting to the holidays difficult at first. Don’t worry, it get’s easier.
Last year, I was new to Shanghai but had already found my new “family” that I’d be celebrating with. Shanghai offers a ton of amazing opportunities for foreigners to celebrate Thanksgiving. These opportunities have a tendency to be quite expensive though, and I just can’t justify it. This lead to my friends and I just going to a western restaurant for dinner last year. That night wasn’t the best night, but it at least came with many memories.
This year, I truly feel as if we mastered Thanksgiving. It was absolutely perfect, and I can’t imagine having a more successful Thanksgiving celebration in China. I had what I’ll count as 2.5 holiday feasts. It was a weekend of overeating and being thankful for the things we all have, including the wonderful groups of people I celebrated with.
Feast 1: Thanksgiving Day
We ordered our pre-made dinner from a store called City Shop. They delivered it to us after we got off work in a styrofoam box; everything was still steaming 4 hours later. AMAZING. My favorite part of this dinner may have been the stuffing. I just couldn’t get enough of it! We also had rolls, which were delightful. I kind of wish I could have had 10 to myself. No shame on Thanksgiving! Honestly, we probably could have ordered extra sides and less turkey. We ended up with an entire turkey left over for people to take home! While the turkey was quite good, nothing beats sides in my opinion.
Feast 2: Fantastic Beasts and Friday’s Feast
Friday wasn’t exactly a feast, but it was originally intended to be, so I made sure to eat plenty of food in honor of our original intentions. We went to this nice restaurant called CH2 by Whisk and enjoyed a nice meal before heading to watch Fantastic Beasts in IMAX 3-D. Harry Potter has managed to wiggle its way into several of my Thanksgiving memories, so I’m counting Friday as part of the festivities.
Feast 3: Thanksgiving Dinner Round 2
We did in fact have a second celebration with pretty much all of the same food, give or take certain side dishes provided by those in attendance. This time we had more sides and less turkey, which worked out much, much better! We ordered our dinner from a different location for Saturday. It was from a place called Kate and Kimi. Favorite part of this may have been the potatoes, or possibly the beans. Still, sides are where it’s at.
This Thanksgiving was probably the best one I could have asked for being away from home. I, of course, missed my family and friends back home, but this actually felt like a real Thanksgiving celebration. We ate an inconceivable amount of food, laughed a lot, and gave thanks for the wonderful things and people we all have in our lives. We truly came together like a family and kicked off the holiday season right, and for that I am extremely grateful.
What are you grateful for this year?