There's a lot of things I love about living in the UK. Beautiful scenery within an easy drive, great golf courses, bearable weather through the winter and easy access to the continent for holidays. There are lots of other benefits as well, some important, some not so important. There's one thing though that I envy North America for and it's already started this year.
It begins at the start of October and runs right through to the end of December. It's the mix of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas all running one after the other. They all coincide with each other whether you're American or Canadian. The order might be different for Canadians, but they still celebrate Thanksgiving within this period.
We visited Jennifer's parents in October a number of years ago. It was the first week in October and people had already started decorating their houses with pumpkins, lights and other decorations celebrating the time of the harvest and the ghoulish night at the end of the month. It was great to see so many homes making a big effort to decorate their homes.
Then there is Thanksgiving. As you know the UK doesn't have any holiday like this. We have Guy Fawkes night on the 5th of November but I would gladly trade it for Thanksgiving day. The family around the table for a big meal and the NFL on the television through the afternoon and evening.
Finally there's the run up to the end of it all. Christmas. We've spent a couple of Christmases in Canada and both we're great, although I have to say it was much more fun with the kids around.
At Christmas as well there are a lot of houses decorated with lights and they definitely go into in a bigger way than we do in the UK.
We've got neighbours with relatives in Canada as well and with this common ground, the conversation at this time of year inevitably falls back to how it's better in North America at this time of the year.
It's not about any one particular holiday, just the fact that there's so much happening during this time of year and it also coincides with a favourite of mine, the NFL season.
Was I born in the wrong country? Probably. Jennifer often jokes that I would be more at home living in North American than in the UK.
I would love to experience the whole run of holidays through the autumn and winter but it would mean a major upheaval of the family. For now though, I'll just quietly be envious on this side of the pond.
Black Friday does not mean shopping; it means we watch the first Christmas movies of the year - Die Hard, followed immediately by Die Hard II - and start with the sounds of the Christmas season. This schedule will provide four solid weeks of Christmas music - plenty of time to become tired of the stuff.
— Exactly when... by Cultural Offering
What a fantastic Christmas tradition! Starting the Christmas holiday season with a real Christmas movie.