Experience · New York

It Is Right To Give Thanks And Praise!

Everytime I hear the word ‘Thanksgiving’, an anonymous choir of voices mumble “It is right to give thanks and praise” in my head. I haven’t been to mass in……quite some time, so I’m not sure why that religious reference remains so pervasive.

This Thursday marks my second American Thanksgiving; my second year celebrating the fact that I get a day off work solely to eat turkey and plan where I can spend my hard earned cash come Black Friday.

Spending significant holidays and occasions away from family and friends is an experience that comes part and parcel with emigration. It’s hard, everyone knows that. The chance to adopt a new Holiday custom is therefore the proverbial silver lining in the cloud: the free-gift-with-purchase if you will.

After receiving an invitation to spend Thanksgiving with a REAL LIFE American family in New Jersey, I quickly began planning the gifts I would bring (Yankee candles, the 2016 equivalent of gold, frankincense and myrrh.) My American confidant reprimanded me quicker than I could say “gift receipt” because hello, was I stupid, it’s THANKSgiving not GIFTgiving.

I’ve come to realise that Thanksgiving in the States is essentially the more sentimental cousin to Christmas. There’s no frantic shopping sprees to give presents just for the sake of it. What’s more important is celebrating your family, your relationships, your happiness and your wellbeing. (Ok yes there’s also a lot more historical significance detailed in the Thanksgiving Wikipedia page, but this is my take away.)

I still bought the candles, I mean if your mother taught you one thing growing up in Ireland it was to never show up at a party empty handed. However, all that’s really required at any celebration across America on the last Thursday in November is your presence (but they certainly won’t turn you away should you bring some roasted vegetables or a decadent dessert.)

So hey, pull up a chair and pass the pumpkin pie, and I’ll tell you what I thank my lucky stars for every single day.

*My family – who will be the first to roll their eyes at this post and say, “Look at this wannabe Yank, she’s lost the run of herself over there!”

*My roommates – because when you share a one bedroom apartment with two other girls, you can be sure that that bond is stronger than the IKEA shelves that stores all our cosmetics.

*My childhood friends – for all their support from 3,000 miles away, and their ability to even keep a Kris Kindle tradition going despite us being on all different continents. (As the proverb goes, you can take the girl out of Ireland, but you can’t take the girl out of the Whatsapp group.)

*My job – for all the moments I spent daydreaming about going to New York Fashion Week one day, and now I am working for the company, creating content every day and learning more than I ever did in a lecture hall.

*My drive – because even though it was hard to leave everything and everyone I loved at home, it would have been harder to miss this adventure.

*My #1 American confidant – because bar Google, who else would I have everyday to act as my translator, interpreter, my YELP guide, and best friend.

*My health – there’s nothing scarier than being sick in another country (except for being an immigrant in said country should Donald Trump become President-elect, oh wait….) I discovered this last week as I battled a dose of strep throat. Something so paltry in the spectrum of illnesses, but daunting when it comes to figuring out your health insurance nonetheless. Hoarse voice and fatigue aside, the experience reminded me how lucky I am to be ablebodied and well.


Dress: WAYF // Bag: ZARA // Shoes: Topshop 

Outfit photos taken long, long ago by Edelle Kenny – just aswell because it’s bloody baltic here now.

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