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     This week has been one giant food coma. First DIS Christmas lunch on Sunday, then DIS Thanksgiving Thursday night, and now Thanksgiving Take 2 in Gevning with Ava and her family, Kaitlyn, Lauren, and Jessica, and my host dad. Sadly Marta has been sick, and Trine stayed at home to care for her. I really wish she would have been able to partake in our Thanksgiving tradition, but it was not to be.

I started the morning helping Trine prepare pumpkin pies at our place before heading to Gevninge in the early afternoon to help Ava prepare food. Actually, most of the work was already done, but we hung out and played cards while we waited for the turkey to cook. Kaitlyn and Jessica didn’t arrive until late as they traveled to Sweden that morning.  They made up for being late though by entertaining us with a little gangster dancing (that’s what they called it anyway).  By the time everyone finally arrived and we sat down to dinner our appetites were alive!

The food was spectacular: turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes covered in a syrup, butter, nut sauce, salad, fried onions, and breads. The drinks were equally luscious: an assortment of champagnes, bodied reds, and a chardonnay. Forks dug and knives scraped, and the sounds of conversation were drowned in the void of silence. Not an awkward silence, but a Thanksgiving silence. The Thanksgiving silence.

Hours later, stomachs expanded beyond normal capacity, we continue feeding, now on the excitement of stories. We exchange tales, finding comfort in our mutual humanity. France, Denmark, the States…all just homes in a global community. Stories span time and space, universal connectors amid a fractured world. This tradition is not Danish, nor is it American. This is tradition of love and connection is a tradition of humanity, bound in the very social fabric of our beings.

And then, of course, there is dessert. Pumpkin pie and rice pudding…Mmmmm delicious!  It is Danish tradition: whoever finds the whole almond in the pudding gets a prize. We eat until it is found, or until there is nothing left to eat. The true-hearted never relent, and the wicked hide their treasure. It is a battle of will, digestion, and  over-indulgence. May the best man or woman win!

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