Thanksgiving has always been a time of family in my household. Yes, I've traveled during the holiday before, but I've never gone without my family. Until this year.
For months this fall, I tried to come up with every scenario possibly imaginable to make it home for Thanksgiving or to go visit my brother in California, but each option came up short—either too expensive or not enough time.
I was upset for little bit, but then I realized that time with family can happen at any point and family doesn't always have to be by blood. Fortunately, I was able to take a few days off earlier this month to go home, and then I had an awesome "friendsgiving" in the city this past week.
It's hard to be away from old traditions, but it's amazing to see how the Lord brings about new community and meaningful surprises—we just have to trust in His faithfulness to provide. (This is often hard for me, as I'm somewhat adverse to change...especially when it involves holidays.)
Parade. One of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions is watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with my family while we drink coffee and prep the food. For years, I've tried to figure out how to make a NYC trip happen to see it in person. I went home last year, but I got to sit with my friends at Columbus Circle and watch it go by in person.
We had the best weather and had the most fun watching the little kids react to the giant balloons...many of which were characters that I was too old to recognize, ha. (The best was overhearing a little boy tell this woman, "Elf of the Shelf will be at my house once he finishes the parade route—he just knows where to show up.")
Dinner. Five of us feasted for hours with tons of turkey and plenty of casseroles to go round. My friend's new apartment felt like a real house instead of an apartment, and we sat at a real dining table. It'd been awhile since I'd done that in New York. (The sights of our making gravy and actually carving the turkey were quite comical.)
Christmas Tree. My roommate Tim went to Philly to be with his family for Thanksgiving, and his grandmother packed a huge bag of Christmas decor for us to use in the apartment. I knew Tim was excited about the holiday season, but I didn't realize just how much until we went to pick up the tree yesterday morning.
It definitely rivaled any grand excitement I thought I carried. Needless to say, we were quite the duo. I mean, our apartment ceiling is pretty tall, so we definitely splurged a bit, getting one of the taller trees. And to top it off, we hosted about 20 people last night for football and tree decorating. (More pictures will be posted to Instagram and Twitter in the coming days: @druwser.)
So on this Sunday after Thanksgiving, I'm super grateful to be living in a place like New York surrounded by the friends I now consider family. I'm excited for all that's in store, and hope the learnings of this week will last throughout the holiday season and into 2016.
Friends, don't be afraid to ask hard questions, delve into deeper topics, and love each all the while. We may have different interests and passions, but that just gives us that much more of a reason to celebrate, community, and serve.