Experiencing My First Thanksgiving In America


Holidays are certainly a favorite time of the year for people of all ages. Being an exchange student, I was expecting to experience holidays in a completely different way. With some of them, like Halloween and Christmas, I am already familiar with, since we do have them and I absolutely enjoyed seeing and understanding the differences between “celebrating” Halloween here and back home in Serbia. Thanksgiving, however, was something completely new for me, and I was excited to see how this important holiday is celebrated.

This November, I experienced my first Thanksgiving here in the United States. To be completely honest, I did not really know about traditions of this holiday. The only thing I knew was that I will be eating turkey. Holidays can be two things, either kind of awkward, boring family gatherings or they can be beautiful memories that will last forever. Luckily, this Thanksgiving for me was something magical. It was full of fun, love, and of course, amazing food! I truly felt like I found my second home. My host family and I played games, laughed and watched football (that I still don’t understand). In those moments it was very clear to me what the true meaning of Thanksgiving was, appreciating all the people who you love and who love you back. I was so thankful that I got to be here, to meet some the most wonderful people and learn about their culture and share mine. I got to make some of my traditional food and I was super proud that everyone liked it and appreciated it.

Even though, I must admit, I was a little scared that I will become homesick after seeing everyone just enjoying their holiday, family time, all my fears disappeared when I realized that, as much as I’m away from my home, family and friends, I am at my second home here and I am loved. I still have not experienced Christmas and I’m looking forward to it, but I feel like Thanksgiving 2021 will definitely be a holiday I’ll remember forever.