When my husband and I moved to Luxembourg in March, the holiday season seemed so far away. But here we are, another one has snuck up on us!

As we begin our lives here in Luxembourg it is hard not to feel a little sad about the traditions we are missing back home, a feeling I’m sure is shared with many expats when missing big events. But as I watched on as the city began to bring out all of the Christmas decorations and market set-ups, I couldn’t help but feel extremely excited about all of the traditions I will establish in Luxembourg.

The first big holiday from the States that we missed was Thanksgiving. Last week, I visited Provencale to order my turkey for an attempt at a “Thanksgiving” in Luxembourg, and was - rather to my surprise - greeted with a whole bird with tail, wings, and neck still intact. Coming as I do from the land of Butterball, this wasn’t quite what I had expected. Luckily the sweet man behind the counter took one look at my confused face and happily offered to trim the turkey up for me and get it “oven ready.” Thank goodness for him, as I had never so much as roasted a whole chicken before. I also thought it was a lovely touch to get a photo of the farmer with my bird. For anyone who might be wondering, my first attempt at a whole roasted turkey was a success!

I was able to share my Thanksgiving traditions from home with some other American expat friends I have met here, but also some new European friends who hadn’t yet experienced the tradition. All was complemented by some delicious Luxembourgish wines, of course, adding a bit of local flavor to elevate the meal.

Next week, my brother-in-law and my mother will be coming over from the States for a trip to the Christmas markets. Our goal is to hit all the markets within Luxembourg, and then spend the weekend in Strasbourg to see what other countries' Christmas markets have to offer. This is definitely a tradition I have never experienced in the States, where it’s generally rather trickier to pop across the border to another country for the day, so I am so enthralled by the prospect of starting some new memories here.

I’ve not been here very long, but some of you surely have - so what are your recommendations for us newcomers? Do you have any particular Christmas markets to recommend? Or other traditions that us newcomers shouldn’t miss?

Of course, I am excited to go home for Christmas and to see some friends and family, but the prospect of new traditions here and all the exciting new activities have made this holiday season a little less sad and lonely, and more happy and optimistic. I am eagerly awaiting the Christmas markets, winter lights and holiday cheer to come.