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.