Monday, November 5, 2012

A German Thanksgiving in the Woods

In Germany we do not celebrate such a thing as Thanksgiving. At least nothing comparable to an American or Canadian Thanksgiving. What we do have though is Erntedank. It is always on a Sunday in the Fall and it's where the farmers say thanks and all the churches are decorated with grapes, pumpkins, bread etc.
For 3 years now I have done a somewhat German Thanksgiving where I invite my closest friends for a dinner. And whenever I cook for my friends or invite them I go all out. I want to bless them and give them the best time ever.
This year I figured the group of people might be too big for my rather small living room which is why I came up with another plan and rented a little hut up in the woods nearby. There is no electricity, no light, no water up there. Just a fireplace, an oven, some chairs and a table and it is beautiful and amazing and quiet and perfect for the occasion.
I tried to be really simplistic and natural with the decoration. In fact all I bought and brought in were creme-white candles in different sizes. I collected some branches from outside and wrote words like adventure, friendship, vision, dreams, etc. on them so everybody had a different word on their plate. With chalk Melina wrote the menu on the stone wall behind the oven. Everything looked so cozy and warm.
 We enjoyed a beautiful dinner with an apple-walnut Salad, Chicken on the grill, bread, butter, grapes and sage carrots. Every year for dessert I make some apple squares and we cooked Espresso over the fire.
There is little things more beautiful than sitting around a table with your best friends enjoying dinner. It is these moments which feel like vacation. Time disappears, your soul refreshes and life is full of joy. It is these moments where I well up with tears and thank God for amazing friends, for giving me this life and these talents and this season.
And as we sat around that table we talked about our lives and the things we are thankful for. I am extremely thankful to share my life with such amazing friends who I can call family. Friends who I know I can count on. Friends who are always there for me. The last year and a little more have not been easy when it comes to my friendships and things change, seasons change, lives change. And yet, to have it all back. To sit there, to share life with them, to just take it all in filled me with such gladness and joy that I was lost for words. I just soaked it all in. That very moment of friendship. That moment of knowing that our lives will always be intertwined, that our lives will always be shared no matter where we go or if we stay. These are my closest and best friends. And that is reason enough to be thankful.



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