Canadian Thanksgiving – Still Grateful

I am going to be in Mexico for the next two weeks, to attend one of my niece’s wedding!  I have scheduled some new and old posts to be published during my absence, so please continue to visit my website and feel free to comment; I will catch up as soon as I return. 

Last year, my daughters were not home to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving (observed on the second Monday of October), and this year, one of them is visiting but I am going to be in Mexico!  I thought I would re-post the piece below, which captures the feeling of being apart, yet close at the same time.

Happy Harvest and Canadian Thanksgiving!

From October 7, 2018:

Canadian Thanksgiving – The Season to Be Grateful


Although not celebrated in Mexico, I was aware of holidays such as Halloween and American Thanksgiving, mostly through cartoons and comic strips, as well as, of course, American football!  One holiday that was a complete surprise to me when I first came to Canada as a graduate student, was Canadian Thanksgiving, an annual celebration on the second Monday in October.  A few days before the holiday, The International Student Association on campus was offering a free Thanksgiving dinner to students from abroad, and one of my teachers offered to usher us newbies, so we could learn all about it and try the traditional food; I joined out of curiosity.  It was lively, with a friendly atmosphere and the burble of excited people in the background.  You could tell the hosting students from the recently arrived guests, not only because we were wearing flannel and coats in October, but because of our keen interest on what we thought was an enticing menu (“as seen on TV” LOL): turkey, bowls of gravy, mashed potatoes, several vegetables and other trimmings (I tried cranberries for the first time) and for the final stretch, a selection of sweets, squares and the ubiquitous  pumpkin pie.  What I thought was neat was to have a holiday focused on appreciating blessings, sharing food and, no buying presents involved!  Years later, when I moved to Canada and had my own family, Thanksgiving continued to be my favourite holiday; this uniquely Canadian tradition inspires me to be appreciative and to create meals prepared from the local harvest, and this feeling continues until American Thanksgiving, on the fourth Thursday of November.  By then, I am all set for the Christmas season (also cozy, hopeful and beautiful, presents and all!)

Although tomorrow is going to be the first time that my daughters will not be with my husband and me to celebrate, I am still thankful because their absence means they have become responsible adults who care about their jobs and school work; I feel blessed because, in spite of the distance, we remain close as a family.

All the produce in the photo above is local; in fact, everything except for the pumpkin came from my backyard; I am also grateful for this beautiful harvest, already thinking what to cook next …

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

11 thoughts on “Canadian Thanksgiving – Still Grateful

  1. Beautiful harvest picture and post! 🌽Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday too. The combination of gratitude, food and family (without the consumerism & pressure of Christmas) makes it really special. I miss celebrating in America since it’s not a national holiday where I live in Ireland.

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      1. Sometimes we do. When my children were in primary school I’d let them stay home for Thanksgiving. My husband would take the day off work, we’d invite American friends over, and I’d cook a turkey with all the trimmings. Somehow it still wasn’t the same since everyone else around us was still at work and school. Do you feel that way about Cinco de Mayo or other Mexican holidays?

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      2. I think my blog is a great way to stay connected to Mexico’s traditions, and I often reminisce on special things or foods I used to have as a youngster (I have posts on Cinco de Mayo, Independence Day in September, Day of the Dead in November, etc.) and how I have adapted the celebrations to my family’s make-up. I also have a Japanese background, and my husband is Greek/Canadian, so we have embraced multicultural traditions. I have found that observing those days with my husband and daughters was fun enough, or including friends regardless of background has been meaningful and wonderful, too; not the same, indeed, but special in their own new way. Did your children enjoy it? That’s a good indicator of how traditions might be transmitted and kept alive.

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      3. That’s amazing! Your family sounds full of diversity and rich traditions. I’ll check out your other holiday posts. Over the years I’ve taken the pressure off myself since I always end up cooking on Christmas too. At Thanksgiving I usually roast a chicken and simplify things. The kids still enjoy it but I’m working now so we celebrate in the evening. This year they’re all vegetarian so I’m not sure what we’ll eat!

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