My parents are immigrants. My dad is from England and my mom is from Denmark. They moved to America about 25 years ago for work opportunities, thinking they would move back to Europe eventually. But we’re still here.
My dad grumbles sometimes about the road systems, saying how much better they are in England. My mom still speaks Danish everyday and is proud of her first culture. That being said, I know how thankful they are to be here. My dad became an American citizen around ten years ago, and he knows a lot more about American history than a lot of American-born citizens do. My mom, although not yet a citizen, makes it very clear that she loves America. On many occasions, she has told me, “I love Denmark, but I could never move back to Europe. I love it here too much.”
That being said, my family does not do a lot on Thanksgiving. Yes, we have the traditional Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie. But we have never watched the Macy’s parade, participated in a Turkey Trot, or watched Thanksgiving football. We have, however, formed our own small tradition of, before we start to eat, going around the table a few times and saying what we’re thankful for. Sometimes this lasts up to forty-five minutes, and sometimes we’re just so hungry that we only do a couple of rounds. But something that never changes is that we all have things that we’re thankful for.
This year, sitting at a Thanksgiving table with two Brits, four Danes, and three English-Danish-American mixes, I know I have a lot to be thankful for. Of course, there are the basics that I can talk about every year – my family, my friends, my house, my health, my dog – but there are also a lot of new things that I’m thankful for: my life in Tulsa, my sorority sisters, my roommate, figuring out what I want to do with my life, and simply being lucky enough to get to go to such an amazing school.