Monday, October 8, 2012

Canadian Thanksgiving

My friends and family in Canada are celebrating Thanksgiving tonight. Living in the northeast, it seems a more appropriate time to celebrate the harvest since it is actually harvest time. Perhaps I should start a rebellion and petition to move Thanksgiving in the US from November (where it competes with Christmas shopping) to October. How hard would it be to get something like that accomplished?  How does one go about doing this? I wouldn't know where to start. Perhaps a grassroots movement in my favorite rust belt city? I think almost everyone I know in Buffalo has at least one Canadian relative or, at the very least, enjoys visiting Toronto every so often. Spacing out the turkey/mashed potato/pie intake might be prudent, too.  

Thanksgiving in Canada is really the best holiday because it is all inclusive. There are no religious obligations, no ethnic overtones, no political agendas - it's a holiday for everyone. The whole Pilgrim/Indian sit down never happened - so there's not guilt either.  Canadians didn't co-opt the idea of Thanksgiving from their southern neighbors, either. One of the first Thanksgiving in Canada occurred when Martin Frobisher, a famous explorer studied by all Canadian students, was searching for a northern route to the Pacific Ocean (good GOD that must have been frigid). Somewhere on Baffin Island  he gave thanks, not for food, but for his mere survival during his expedition. That was in the late 1500s.  
Today, Canadians are merely required to eat, drink, assemble family and friends and say a big thank you. Some may also be lucky enough to have water nearby to have a celebratory paddle.

As I examine my ever increasing girth, I'm thinking I should say 'no thank-you' more than I should say 'thank-you'. However, we all understand that Thanksgiving is about being thankful for all our gifts - not just the plentiful harvest (although I understand the apple harvest will be scant this year). Taking time to be thankful is always a good idea and, unless you're in the enviable habit of saying 'grace' at each meal, or your prayers each night,  it's something that we just don't do enough.

Listening to my co-worker list the heart-rending issues with her extended family this morning, I was once again thankful for the incredible luck I have had with my family, our kids and my husband. Our troubles are few and minor in comparison to others.

So, even though I did not eat a feast tonight (although Bill did whip up another tasty meal), I am thankful for my friends, my co-workers, my family and my many blessings. Even though it isn't Thanksgiving stateside, I hope you are in a position to give thanks, too. 

1 comment:

  1. Welcome back to blogging Liz! And thank you for clearing up the history of Thanksgiving in Canada. I was one of those misinformed who thought it was just their version of our holiday.