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Celebrating Thanksgiving outside of the U.S. can require some additional planning! Even after settling into a new location, you won’t forget the creature comforts from your home country. Thanksgiving is predominantly celebrated in North America, but this doesn’t mean you can’t cook up some of your family favorites wherever you are in the world. 

How to plan an expat Thanksgiving
Gail's Sweet Potato Pie

Top tips for an expat Thanksgiving

  • Don’t forget that you won’t get the day off work! Plan your celebrations for the weekend after the Thursday of Thanksgiving – this will give you more time to prepare
  • Thanksgiving favorites may not be available in your new home country – essentials including pumpkin paste and cranberry sauce aren’t available everywhere. Look for substitutes or try to make your own
  • Share the festivities. Invite other expats or locals to enjoy the celebrations – it’s a great way to build friendships with others in your new country and to teach them about your culture 

Gail Kaufman, Crown’s Project Manager, based in Connecticut, U.S., shares her family’s favorite Sweet Potato Pie recipe: 


For the crust: 6 cups cornflakes; 3 tsp. sugar; 2 tbsp. reduced-fat spread (butter/margarine)

For the filling: 40oz. canned yams (or sweet potatoes) in light syrup, drained; 16oz. can of crushed pineapple packed in pineapple juice

For the topping: 10oz. marshmallows


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F/180°C
  2. In the oven, heat the reduced fat spread in a 9” x 13” baking pan until just melted. Set the pan aside
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cornflakes and sugar. With a mallet or the bottom of a cup, crush together
  4. Pour the melted spread from the pan into the bowl containing the cornflake mixture, leaving the pan greased
  5. Stir the cornflake mixture and transfer it to the greased baking pan. With a large spoon, spread the cornflake mixture evenly across the bottom and up the sides to form the crust
  6. In the bowl, combine the drained yams and crushed pineapple with pineapple juice. Mix well but do not over mix. This should be a little chunky
  7. Pour yam and pineapple mixture on top of the crust. Distribute evenly and, with the back of a large spoon, smooth out the top
  8. Distribute the marshmallows evenly over the filling
  9. Place the pan in the oven and bake until the marshmallows are slightly toasted, for about 20 minutes. Serve immediately or at room temperature.

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