I do love my American friends but feel it's my duty as an Englishman abroad to resist the temptation to call a "film" a "movie" and a "nappy" a "diaper". I confess to having failed in both of these at times and have even addressed friends as "dude" rather than "sir".
One American custom I do very much approve of is that of Thanksgiving. This particular celebration is a reminder though to give thanks at all times and in all circumstances even when we might not naturally feel like doing so.
Once at a Mass in English I was getting more and more irritated. There was a projector showing the congregation the words to sing on a screen by the altar. The words were scribbled badly and the grammar was appalling. At one point it even suggested that we should engage in polytheistic worship as it stated: "gods' glory is all around."
I found myself looking away and remembered the inportance of gratitude: I thanked God that I was able to attend Mass, that I have a wonderful wife and that someone had at least gone to the effort to try and help people sing along. I found myself becoming aware that a domestic helper - and thousands like her - worked solidly for six days a week to support family in another country and the one day they have free they spend serving God. My whole perspective changed in a matter of moments and after Mass I found myself wishing to thank her for all she does.
Gratitude works - let's remember to thank God for so much that we probably take for granted each day. I thank God that I'm a Catholic Christian, that my wife shares my faith and inspires me, for my life, my amazing friends and yes - for any enemies I have too - these can bring us grace when we forgive and seek forgiveness.