Home / Health & Nutrition / Recipes / Appetizers / Orphan Dinner

Orphan Dinner

Defined as a dinner party or a holiday get together with friends who have no family to spend the holidays with. Usually a potluck event.

The phrase resonated with me, it’s a big part of the ex-pat experience. Most of us don’t have family here but most of us have made friends. We’re bonded by similar interests, world views or simply by sharing a common language.

Some people do fly “home” for the holidays, but most don’t. It gets expensive and sometimes it’s physically challenging. I haven’t spent Thanksgiving with my family in three years. It’s always been one of my favorite holidays, sharing first place with Halloween, Independence Day (July 4th) comes in third. I like Christmas and Easter for the family dinners and the decorations but they aren’t big on my list. Any holiday that has mandatory gift giving stresses me out, I like receiving presents, I like giving them but as an expression of love and affection not because I am supposed to do it.

Back to the pot lucks, we’re off to one this afternoon. It should be fun, a small group maybe ten people. I don’t remember what we did last year, the year before we were in Chiapas.The year that I was in California, Husband went to a celebration with friends, a lovely couple who have since moved to another part of Mexico. Another group of people we know go to the Hyatt for the Thanksgiving buffet, they reserve a table, enjoy a first class meal with friends with the added bonus of no dishes to wash.

Tomorrow, I am going to inspect my ornaments and start thinking about decorating.

About Theresa Diaz Gray

Born in New York City, I grew up in California, and have lived in 3 countries and 6 states. I'm a first generation Cuban-American who lives in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. I'm committed to living an abundant and creative life and helping others do so too through DIY!


  1. Steve,exactly, though the food was very good at the dinner we went to.

    Ron, I like my family. However, I understand the sentiment.


  2. I agree that friends are what world gives you to make up for family.


  3. I love Thanksgiving because it is a chance for the family to gather without the distractions of Christmas. My family is currently spread over two countries and three states. Today I am joining four friends for a restaurant Thanksgiving meal. The food will not be as good as the fathering. And that is fine with me. Am orphan dinner and better than none at all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Scroll To Top