I'm honestly not surprised that it did. We were less people - down from 13 Americans to 5, our course load has been pretty tough, but we pulled it together perfectly and it was a smashing event.
This year we had a meeting to plan all of Thanksgiving and we divided and conquered each of the main dishes and split up the pies. Our friends knew how it worked and so they were prepared to help us as well, offering black forest cakes, brownies, and salads. The girls and I wrote the menu, ordered the turkeys, we planned the pies, and we put together an amazing evening.
The most exciting part about this year was the fact that some people were coming for their 2nd Thanksgiving and the others that were coming for their first were well versed (and excited) about what was to come. Honestly, there was buzz surrounding Thanksgiving 08.
The first week of school one of my friends asked me when Thanksgiving was. The second week someone else did. And it would happen again and again. From time to time people would shyly mention it and ask how our planning was going. It was amazing. I love that people were starting to look forward to it with the same zeal that I do. It is my favorite holiday and I've been looking forward to it since November 23, 2007.
Enter Julien. Julien is one of the most ridiculous people in the world. His father is American from German descent and his mother is French. His family history involves his great-something grandfather going to strike gold with the 49ers, but somehow getting delayed and arriving 10 years too late. But anyways, round September, Julien approached me and told me (and I quote) "I want an important part in Thanksgiving this year". He proceeded to tell me that he would totally drive us anywhere we needed to go to get Turkeys or cooking supplies, but he really wanted to help us out in the evening and he added, (and I quote again) "I want to be the star".
I told him he would have to be prepared. Julien worked this out, found some good knives and even watched some youtube videos on Turkey carving. The night before the big day, we sent him a message with some more video's. His cheeky reply was something along the lines of : I'll handle the cutting and you girls just get the birds ready.
We were only 5 planning this year's Thanksgiving, but we arranged all the food, made most of the food (except a few desserts) and organized everyone to come together for a wonderful evening - where we all fit in our living room! It's amazing to see ourselves as capable adults - last year it seemed so surprising that it went on without a hitch, but this year it made sense that everything went well. And I'll admit how good that feels. It's the kind of good that makes growing up OK (fun even!), the kind of good feeling that we get to share with others, as adults that can arrange things of this magnitude. I'm not going to lie, I kind of like it :-).
I'm already looking forward to Thanksgiving 2009.