Holiday Paddling

Great Market Hall_2
The Great Market Hall: Thanksgiving shopping in Budapest

It’s here – the most wonderful time of the year. The holiday season has begun. Did I hear a sigh? I know the holidays can be a mixed bag of emotions. They’re supposed to be full of holly and jolly, but high expectations come with opportunity for letdown. And that could easily be the case for my Thanksgiving.

I love Thanksgiving. It’s a time to be truly grateful (and to eat stuffing – my favorite part). But this year I’m in Budapest where no one is in the holiday spirit yet, and on top of that, my friend Mike gave me a cold. I know it’s the time for giving, but he could have kept this to himself! It would be very easy to just skip it, get a bowl of goulash, and call it a day. You know those moments in life where everything seems to be going in a particular direction?

I’m a believer in going with the flow, but sometimes you know you need to paddle upstream.

So we have a choice. We could get swept up in the flow and not celebrate Thanksgiving, or we could create something magical without all the crazy expectations… to be clear about what we’re truly committed to and make that happen – connect with our friends and family “back home” and have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

Last year we actually managed to pull it off, although we almost had to sell Bailey to pay for dinner supplies. (Sure, he’s cute. But once they find out what a pain in the *&T% he is, they’d for sure be asking for a refund :)). We paid something like $7.00 for a very small can of Ocean Spray cranberry sauce. Luckily, we have that covered this year; our great friend Grace left us a can when she and her husband Paul moved to Iceland.

We found Libby’s Pumpkin (not our first choice but hey, it’s pumpkin) at Culinaries, a shop that caters to the expat community where you’ll also find Miracle Whip, French’s mustard, and other name brands and pay 10 times more than at your local grocery store in the States.

We’ve chosen to paddle upstream and here’s our menu: turkey breast, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cooked carrots, bread rolls, cranberry sauce, pumpkin soufflé and whipped cream. YUM! The perfect meal connected with friends and family, hanging out with Will, Bailey, and Brodee. I guess I’m the luckiest guy on the planet.

I hope wherever you are in world, you’re happy today. I’m so thankful that we are connected.

By | 2016-10-13T16:45:37+00:00 November 28th, 2013|Attitude, Budapest, Life, Motivation, Thanksgiving, Travel|2 Comments

About the Author:

For 30 years, Drew Gerber has been inspiring those who want to change the world. As the CEO of Wasabi Publicity, Inc., lauded by the likes of PR Week and Good Morning America, he sparks "aha" conversations that lead to personal and business success. His PR firm is known for landing clients on Dr. Phil, Oprah, Anderson Cooper, The Wall Street Journal, Inc., Entrepreneur, and other top media outlets. Wasabi Publicity lives to launch conversations that make a difference and change the world.


  1. Sondra Smith November 29, 2013 at 5:50 pm - Reply

    Dear Drew,

    Sounds like you had a very nice “American” Thanksgiving, although it was pricey. I actually thought of you and Will yesterday and wondered how you would celebrate. We may change countries within our life, but true tradition that we grew up with continues to last a lifetime. Now you have new tradition to also celebrate…sounds like a happy time going on all the time 😉

    We, your friends could always mail you goodies. Our daughter and her husband taught English as a second language at a University in China. The one thing she missed the most was Best Foods mayonnaise. Mom decided to surprise her by mailing her a jar of mayonnaise. I was the one who got surprised…it cost me $35.00, 11 years ago to mail that jar of mayonnaise to China. We still laugh about it today. Thanks goodness they have returned stateside, and we shared Thanksgiving yesterday with them, our four granddaughters, John’s parent and his grandmother. We had all the trimmings and a wonderful day. We have many blessing to be thankful for. Family and friends being at the top of the list.

    • Drew Gerber December 2, 2013 at 9:58 am - Reply

      Sondra – I love your story about sending Best Foods mayonnaise to your daughter! The things a mother does for her children… amazing 🙂 And you are so right; we have many blessings to be thankful for.

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