This time of the year brings even more memories of the UK. I met Margaret during a posting in London in 1989. We go back often and Margaret took Tommy to the London Olympics and to Cambridge and Oxford this summer. We still get plenty of holiday cards from friends there and Margaret is very good about calling her cousins and friends for long holiday chats.
This year though I have noticed even more how the US and the UK keep drifting apart.
- It is one of the few years where we have had both Thanksgiving and Christmas at home, and I noticed our Christmas dinner was a bit more elaborate than our Thanksgiving dinner. Margaret’s Irish/English upbringing at play where the Christmas turkey is the most important meal of the year.
- I watch BBC and notice Boxing Day is still the most important shopping day in the UK. We have moved to Black Friday, Cyber Monday and who knows what else as days to splurge.
- I watch CNN and notice how incensed Piers Morgan is on the gun control issue. Many Americans want to deport him, not realizing that most other Brits would bring a similar sense of pride at how their tighter gun controls work and ours do not.
- I watch the movie Love Actually, a family favorite this time of the year and watch Hugh Grant as British Prime Minister stand up to a bully of Billy Bob Thornton as US President (a superbly lecherous cameo role).
Yes, the two countries still have a “special relationship” but we have been drifting apart for a while, and will drift apart more so as the US looks more West to the Pacific in the next few decades.
Through it all we still enjoy all the holiday cards, visits to London, and am particularly proud our kids have spent more time in the UK and Ireland than any other part of the world.