Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

An Extra Slice of Gratitude Pie (and a dollop of Thank You)

For those of you who weren’t aware, I’m a Connecticut Yankee living in Queen Elizabeth’s Court (and by court…I sort of mean…well…the whole of the United Kingdom). It sure doesn’t stop me from celebrating American Thanksgiving, though.

This year – as we try to do every year, was full of firsts. We had our first Canadian, who was celebrating her first Thanksgiving (Canada has one, too – just a bit earlier in the year). This was the first year  I was brave enough (in the twenty-odd years I have lived in the UK) to put MARSHMALLOW on top of my sweet potatoes (smash hit – just sayin’. It was worth the gamble). It was the first year I didn’t go all control freaky and I actually accepted an offer from someone to make the pies (DELISH!).

But what got my little heartstrings a stretching the most – was something my husband and I started as our own family tradition (my family never did this)…where we went round the table and had to say what we were grateful for. In a crazy display of NOT Britishness – the Brits took to it like ducks to water. Not only taking their turn to be grateful, but saying it STANDING UP and with a spoon microphone (natch – always makes things jazzier).

And me? I got to go last. I was grateful for the friends we had, the pie we ate, the gigumbous turkey I will be making sandwiches out of until Christmas and very grateful for my entry into the magical world of romance writing. I have my moments where it’s tough, but I love it. The readers, the writers, the characters I hate to say goodbye to, the ones I can’t wait to see the back of – all of it! So thank you for being there. I’m grateful for you. (And for leftovers. Yum yum). All the best and see you soon! (oh, and if you’re dying for a Christmas read – my latest book – The Nightshift Before Christmas is already out. Hope you enjoy). xx Annie O’



10 thoughts on “An Extra Slice of Gratitude Pie (and a dollop of Thank You)”

  1. Since my older son got married 5 years ago we have been put in to a position of deciding with whom and where to spend the holidays. Everyone lives within 30 minutes of each other, so distance isn’t a factor. The first 2 years I was working at a hospital as an RN, so I usually had to work the night before, or the night of the holidays. My 2 sons and daughter in law all worked in theme park management, and weren’t at the management level where they were guaranteed to be off, and my youngest son’s birthday (and since 3 years ago his wedding anniversary) falls on the 23rd, so we usually had Thanksgiving dinner on the Sunday before. Now my kids are in management positions with holidays off and I am retired.. The hubby and I go to my oldest son’s house on the Wednesday morning (he has the biggest house for hosting) and we spend the day prep cooking, and meet up with my DIL’s family for dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant. My DIL’s mom makes the turkey, stuffing and pies, I made and froze my grandmothers yeast rolls to bring, and also made her escalloped corn casserole, my other DIL was in charge of appetizers, and my oldest son made all the other side dishes and casseroles. I usually help him cook on the day, but this year I had more important things to do..I was in charge of my first grandbaby, 5 month old Spencer, who is teething and revelling in all the attention a 5 month old needs! I think next year we may have decided to go on a family cruise!

    1. WOW! That sounds amazing Laurie. A family after my own heart. I just love Thanksgiving – possibly better than Christmas (although….close call, close call). I just adore everyone getting together to cook and enjoy a meal together. Sounds like Spencer takes the cake! (Or the pie?) x Annie O’

  2. Your fabulous photos are making me hungry all over again, Annie! I love Thanksgiving, too – thinking about the many things we’re grateful for, and super yummy food, some of which we eat only once or twice a year. We always have a giant Thanksgiving – frankly, between you and me it’s gotten too giant! 🙂 At some point we need to reevaluate the 50 or so gathered together, with the young adults now getting married and a few bringing their bride or groom’s parents along, too, exponentially exploding the number of attendees! One of the many things I felt thankful for this year was that I didn’t have to host! 😉 (except, alas, my dues will be coming next Easter). Much easier to take a bunch of food and an extra turkey somewhere else than get the house ready, which pretty much takes a solid week between cleaning up the disarray, getting tables together and set, buying the groceries and getting everything fixed.

    But I admit that it’s a special tradition my children love and appreciate – getting together with all their cousins and aunts and uncles and others at least three times a years is important to them, and when it’s all over, it does feel worth all the work, doesn’t it?

    Congrats on your release! xoxo

    1. Oh my GOODNESS, Robin Gianna! FIFTY??? That would send me round the bend. You’re a wonder. How amazing. It sounds like you and your Turkey Fest know how to draw a crowd. Amazing. So good they they all love getting together, cousins, aunts, uncles, parents etc. How wonderful (if not exhausting!) What I am lamenting this year, is the lack of pumpkin pie left overs. I’m just going to have to make another one. It’s the only solution.

  3. Hi Annie

    I reckon Thanksgiving is the best celebration and really wished we did here in Australia I might need to start it up in my family next year 🙂 all that food but best of all family together love it and I must say I am looking forward to Christmas 🙂

    And I loved The Nightshift Before Christmas 🙂

    Have Fun

    1. Helen – I think that is a SPLENDID idea. Effectively – it is just a harvest festival where you express gratitude for the bounty of the Harvest. It is terrific to get to plan an amazing get together – be it with friends and/or family (sometimes both!) to just enjoy being together. I remember one year there was an ‘Adopt a Serviceman’ thing going on at my dad’s military base. A lot of single military personnel far away from home needing a family for the day. That was great. thank you so much for loving ‘Nightshift’! It was definitely one of my favs! x Annie O’

  4. Loved your thanksgiving pics, Annie! ln the years my kids were growing up we did best of day/worst of day at tea time which is similar to the things I’m thankful for. It was a good way to teach kids reflection and seeing the good in things as well as the not so good which I think none of us are particularly good at and it was always an excellent conversation starter too.
    We dont do it as often now but I think we’ll make it a feature of Xmas day.

    1. That sounds like a great day! I bet it was wonderful. Turning it into a Christmas Day feature sounds terrific. I feel really…uhhh….thankful, that we have Thanksgiving. To me it is ALWAYS about being with great people. Even if you end up eating a burnt turkey and nothing else could cook because the power was out (long story…fun day….ended at a restaurant!)
      xx Annie O’

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