feasting and festivity

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thanksgiving and christmas get all intertwined for us come late november … and i’ve decided i love that! i’m thankful for the magic of christmastime, and the magic of christmastime makes me more thankful.

the last week of november was full of feasting and festivity!

we had a friendsgiving with five other families that we adore, happily crammed into a small london flat:
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we finished off some final turkey crafts, and our beloved thankful tree:
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we enjoyed all the twinkle and shine at covent garden:
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and we went to the lights-switch-on event at the royal exchange, deep in the financial district. this turned out to be a lot of waiting in the cold and in a crowd, but we made the most of it, watching the projection of snowflakes on the building, sipping hot coco and eating mince pies that were handed out, and the boys listening to my storytelling.
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ian met us there after work, and then we saw joanne froggatt, an actress that i love from downton abbey!, switch on the lights. i was pretty starstruck and it was fun.
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there were randomly these guys dressed up as cats that came out after the lights had been switched on. moses was enamored by them and gabriel was terrified. haha! he appreciated other christmassy displays around the city much more 🙂
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we had my brother and niece with us on actual thanksgiving day, which was such a treat!! (look at how adoringly moses is looking up at his cousin in this picture they requested together with the thankful tree!) after some fun around the city, we had a little thrown-together thanksgiving feast with turkey and all the sides gathered up at whole foods.
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our real feast and celebration was the following saturday, at the home of our dear family friends, the schwartzes. it was so fun to have my brother and niece along for the train ride out to the little village of writtle and the festive fun at amy and rob’s converted-barn house. it was a big party, with seven families and a set of missionaries –  thirty two people! the schwartzes are, without a doubt, the most gracious, generous, amazing hosts i have ever encountered. we love being in their home and we are so thankful for them!
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a few times americans have said to me, “i’m so sorry you miss out on thanksgiving, living away from the usa.” this always makes me chuckle, because while i definitely miss a lot of things about celebrating thanksgiving in our homeland, we definitely don’t miss out on thanksgiving celebrating here across the pond. in fact, we have three thanksgivings! this year was particularly good with my brother and niece in town. our bellies and our hearts are full!!

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