Some of them are the same friends that came to the first one. Some of them have joined along the way, and some are fairly new to the celebration. As we have done every year, Anders and I provide the turkey(s), mashed potatoes, stuffing (in the turkeys) and gravy. This year I've also made spaghetti squash. Everyone else chips in and brings the rest: green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, salad, dressing, black olives, drinks, pumpkin pies, and various other dishes. We'll have profiteroles and berry cobblers on the dessert table this year, too. Yum yum!
It's funny to think that after I came to Sweden nearly 21 years ago, I would meet people that I would celebrate the most American of holidays with for twenty years. At that first Friendsgiving, Martin was not quite a year old. We were the only couple with a kid at that point. Since then, most of our friends have had kids and each year we've watched them grow up. First it was Friendsgiving with friends, then with friends and their babies, then their toddlers, then their pre-teens, and then their teenagers...now we're winding around the other side of that cycle: the kids are starting to drop out, stay home, go out and do their own thing. Martin is missing our dinner for the third year in a row. Karin is staying through dessert, but then heading out to an evening with friends. In another year or so, I can bet that we'll be back to just friends.
We had a head count of 22 people when I sent out the menu list several weeks ago, but since then one teenager changed her mind and decided she would rather spend the weekend in Denmark with her boyfriend, and one friend gave me a heads up this evening that both she and her daughter are sick...they weren't canceling yet, but she'll has to see how they are tomorrow before they can decide if they will make or not (if not, they are sending their dish with someone else)...so we might be down to 19. Ah well, more leftovers for us! Maybe in a few years, when the kids have all bailed, we'll be back to 8 or 10 adults and only have to make TWO turkeys!
I called on the way home from our annual AWC wreathmaking workshop and talked to Martin and my mom and my grandma (!) on Thursday. My grandma, who is 102, was thrilled to hear that I was on the phone when my mom told her who was calling, but couldn't really hear anything I said, so my mom had to repeat it all. I was afraid that I wouldn't see her again after the summer she turned 101, but now I'm pretty hopeful that I'll get to see her again at Christmas. :)
A few things I'm thankful for right now:
Much-needed good news coming down the line for my sister and her family
Apps that allow me to keep in touch with my family cheaply and easily
Gainful, fulfilling employment
My health, and that of my loved ones
I didn't send out holiday greetings this past week online, but I had them in my head and in my heart. That's the other thing I'm thankful for: you.