My friend at The Three Under first clued me in on a church in the Netherlands holding a Thanksgiving service several months ago. Before I knew it was in English, before I understood why they held it, and before I could figure out how we could get there, I wanted to go.
So we’re going.
In preparation for this short trip, I spent today, Thanksgiving Eve, reading about why this service is held in Leiden, NL every year.
It turns out, the Pilgrims and I have a lot in common. They were also expats, first moving from England to Leiden. Some succeeded, others suffered. While in Leiden they worried about their cultural identity. Even back in the 1600s the Netherlands was quite the liberal country. The Pilgrim children were adapting to the local culture faster than the Pilgrim Fathers were comfortable with. So, they secured funding, packed up, and moved to the New World.
Tomorrow I’ll learn more about the Pilgrims and their time in Leiden via the church service, American Pilgrim museum, and just getting a feel for the town as we explore. I’m calling it the most American Thanksgiving outside of America.
So even though my son’s preschool mates will still be in preschool, though shops will still be open, and though there will be few pumpkin pies baking in a 4000+ mile vicinity, we’re going to celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s a part of our cultural identity. I’m thankful to have the opportunity to learn more about my favorite holiday and eat a Thanksgiving feast with my family and good friends.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!