Thankful for Thanksgiving

This is a post I wrote about Thanksgiving 2 years ago. And although in this year of 2020, it won’t be the same, for me and my family, there are similarities to our family traditions of having a different kind of Thanksgiving. 

It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada. I recently read a “Psychology Today” article about how to determine what your true values are: the deep-down, hardcore things that make your life worth living. They’re not as easy as you think to pinpoint and they aren’t always what you think. Love and kindness, both to and from others, personal safety and security : who wouldn’t value such things? Yet we expend most of our life force on things with fleeting value. We want and chase more money that we need (for enough safety and security, of course 😉 ) We waste time on comparisons with others – we used to call it the “Rat Race” or  “Keeping up with the Joneses” ;  now I think it’s FOMO – “Fear of Missing Out”. Honestly, Facebook is great but terrible at the same time.

On this Thanksgiving weekend, I remember values I cherish. Family. Health. Memories and their Traditions. Thankful for those I knew and learned from. Thankful for those I will meet and learn from. Thankful for today. Oh, and for the pumpkin pie, extra whipped cream, please. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

And back to today: I’m not quite as upbeat today, so will continue the cheerfulness with another excerpt from my latest book release “First We Eat. Food, Life, and More Stories”  I especially like the shout-out to my American friends, whose own Thanksgiving will also be different for them this year. Here you go : 

Another example of disregarding dates to celebrate a holiday: American Thanksgiving, or as we call it, Football Day. Both my sons lived in the United States, gone for the same four years, one for two years of high school and college, the other for the full college experience. As Canadians, my husband and I would always take the Canadian long weekend in early October away from work to visit one or the other son, it not being a holiday weekend yet down south because American Thanksgiving fell in late November. Something about the earlier harvest schedule in Canada, I would assume, accounts for the difference in the country’s dates of celebration. Regardless, my boys would not get turkey on Canadian Thanksgiving; in the middle of their school and hockey schedules, we’d be lucky to enjoy one Saturday night meal at a restaurant together. But on American Thanksgiving, which for them was a longer four-day weekend, and which my husband and I didn’t get off work, they were stuck down there observing with their American peers. And as pathetic, lonely foreign hockey players, they would always be invited by a school friend’s nearby family to partake in American Thanksgiving celebrations. Now, I cannot relate their experiences participating in this iconic American holiday event, but I can tell you it affected my boys considerably. To this day they will take the Thursday and sometimes also the Friday after off from work here in Canada as personal vacation days. D’Arcy hosts a huge football party, my daughter-in-law Jessica decorates the house in American football colours, and everyone wears their NFL jerseys. The table is loaded with snacks and a cooked turkey ready to make bun sandwiches, tailgate-style. Once they even had a “turducken” (turkey stuffed with duck stuffed with chicken), which we had to cross the nearby border into upstate New York to find in a grocery store. I admit I didn’t enjoy it; the shredded meat was so over-salted, it burned the tongue.

More stories? Be sure to check out my Books.


4 thoughts on “Thankful for Thanksgiving

  1. I’m thankful for you; for the privilege of calling you friend and sister Brat, for your insightful posts and delightful book. Practicing gratitude is a life-changer.

  2. Happy Thanksgiving to you. Also a military dependent, I remember never knowing where we would be spending Thanksgiving. It was always special, though. Now, after decades of distance, I’m living near family again. Have a good one!

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