Posted by Happy Homemaker UK

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the US. My kids do not have the day off for the holiday, but I will be in their classrooms to help celebrate this American tradition. 

A few Americans I know will go to the US for the holiday, but most will be enjoying it in their UK home over the weekend or going to the local restaurant that caters to the Americans for this annual meal.

Classroom Thanksgiving Turkey Craft with London Map for Wings

I feel one step closer to the Pilgrims without my pre-made pie crust and other conveniences. And we may be eating chicken instead of turkey due to the size of our teeny weeny oven. The Pilgrims were good at improvising, weren't they? Or was that the explorers?

Anyway, Thanksgiving is possibly my favorite holiday due to its simplicity. No strings attached - just food and family, no gifts or fanfare.

As I reflect on what I am thankful for, the traditional list comes up - good health and friends & family who we cherish near and far. Yet this morning, I surprised myself by being thankful for my massage therapy training ten years ago that quietly transformed my thinking (I was a massage therapist until I had my first kiddo.) 

No. 1: Positive Thinking
One's mind, no matter the message, always wants to prove itself right. No matter what. So if you say 'I'm fat', you will try to make that message correct. If you say 'I'm creative', your mind will try to make that message correct too. Keep self-talk positive, always.

No. 2: Forgive Yourself
So while it may have seemed foolish to have moved that last piece of furniture by myself, which caused my disc to herniate in January, I didn't beat myself up over it.  If I could look into the future, I wouldn't make any mistakes, but not having that superpower and not being perfect, I make mistakes every day. I don't allow guilt to eat at me.

The next holiday is, of course, Christmas. Such a magical time, especially with kids. As I mentioned in a previous post, the Christmas season comes almost a month earlier than I am accustomed to. In the US, the season starts after Thanksgiving (end of November) while in the UK, it is kicked off after Guy Fawkes Day (beginning of November). 

I wasn't sure how I'd feel about having a longer season, but it actually is quite nice to have Thanksgiving in the middle of the Christmas season. I also don't feel as rushed to buy Christmas gifts because I've gained 3 weeks to do so. 

Yesterday a friend and I went to the Cologne Christmas Market in London along the River Thames.

Cologne Market with Big Ben in the Distance

If you are needing some 'cheer' while you are there, you can grab a cup of Jagermeister with Red Bull (Jager-Bombe). It tasted like cough syrup, but we had to give it a try. (Being explorers, not Puritans)

My favorite stall sold handmade Lithuanian houses. Smoke comes out of the chimney from a lit candle inside. I wish I had bought a whole village of them, but I'll have to settle for a photo of one. So adorable, don't you think?

So here is our current 5 day forecast. I think it is so interesting that 'white cloud' is a possibility. I've always smiled at their expression of 'sunny spells' and 'sunny intervals'.

We haven't had any snow yet - I hear the whole city shuts down with even the smallest amount because they don't have the equipment to care for the roads and train tracks. Apparently many cars here do not do well on ice or snow either. Another week of adventure ahead of us, now in the weather department!

Wishing you a very Happy (warm and cozy) Thanksgiving!!! Sending you the love...

XO Laura