Picture for illustration purposes only.
PHOTO BY ARCHIVE
DUBAI – Thanksgiving is less than a week away and although it is considered to be celebrated predominantly in the USA, hundreds of thousands of expatriate residents in the UAE are also gearing up for the annual celebrations.
While not much can compete with the festivities that you grew accustomed to back home, nothing prevents you from starting your own Thanksgiving traditions in the country you call home.
Although you are bound to feel a bit more homesick than usual, here are five ways that will help you survive Thanksgiving abroad.
The magnificent Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade is as synonymous with the festivities of the day as turkey and pumpkin pie are. Every year more than 50 million people watch the USA’s favorite Thanksgiving parade on television while another 3.5 million will be along the parade route to watch the brightly-colored floats, giant helium-balloons, and countless entertainers make their way from 77th Street and Central Park West to Macy’s Herald Square.
This year the parade will be streamed onnbc.com/live although this viewing option may require special authentication. Don’t despair though if this is the case as Verizon has partnered with NBC and Macy’s to offer viewers a real-time parade-watching experience on YouTube.
One way to dispel your homesickness this Thanksgiving is to don your living spaces in some cheerful Thanksgiving decorations. This is a fun activity that the entire family can get involved in. You can choose between countless easy-to-make decorations such as gratitude trees and wreaths, pumpkin arrangements, turkey art, and leaf sun catchers. Even if you don’t have a lot of art and craft supplies at home don’t worry as there are some remarkable idea on the internet that makes use of items that can be more than likely be found in the home already.
No Thanksgiving will be complete without a traditional dinner reminiscent of home. While there is an increasing number of eateries in the UAE that offer both sit-down and takeout Thanksgiving dining options, nothing quite beats indulging in a lovingly-prepared feast at home.
Whether you are planning to invite over a hoard of friends or spend the day with only your family, be sure to decide on your menu well in advance as everyone knows that pulling off a Thanksgiving dinner requires a lot of planning. What you choose to serve is entirely up to you but don’t forget to include at least a few traditional favorites such as roasted turkey, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and roasted sweet potatoes.
For many people, the highlight of the annual Thanksgiving festivities is without a doubt the magnificent Black Friday and Cyber Friday specials. Even if you aren’t brave enough to venture to one of the magnificent shopping malls scattered across the UAE you can shop up a store online from the comfort of your home. This year, Black Friday will take place on November 23 while Cyber Monday will take place on November 26. The latter, in particular, is fast gaining popularity especially amongs individuals who prefer to shop online. If you have been waiting all year to upgrade your home entertainment system, now is the best time to shop for that television set or surround-sound system you have always wanted. Other popular items that are sold at ridiculous discounts over Thanksgiving include smartphones and tablets, laptops and PCs, gaming devices, watches, and household appliances.
Regardless of where you are in the world, the most important Thanksgiving tradition is to spend the day with family and friends. It is not always easy being an expat, especially when your lingering homesickness gets exacerbated on special holidays.
The best survival technique anyone can employ on during the festive period is to spend meaningful time with those nearest and dearest to you. If you find yourself single and alone on Thanksgiving, rope in some of your closest friends, even if they are not expats themselves, and let them experience first-hand exactly what Thanksgiving is all about.
Regardless of where you are this coming Thanksgiving, the above guidelines will help you make a festive occasion of the day. Between the festive decorations, delicious food, and delightful company you are bound to have a memorable time reminiscent of special times back home. JS/Expat Media
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