Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday that is entirely rooted within a secular tradition. I enjoy all the amenities that a huge thanksgiving dinner provides, and I truly do enjoy the week of leftovers. The Canadian thanksgiving will be celebrated this coming Monday, a full 6 weeks before the American counterpart.
Why do we celebrate thanksgiving so much earlier? The simplest answer is one word: ‘harvest’. Our growing season is shorter up here, so we have to get our end-of-season mega-feast in while the apples are still ripe and the turkeys are still ugly, and angry for no apparent reason. Seriously. Look at this turkey and tell me that all life is beautiful. I dare you.
I can’t speak for all Canadians here, but when I .watch what the American version of thanksgiving has become, I have to stand in awe. You Americans sure know how to make a spectacle! Thanksgiving for Americans is the time to celebrate not just community, family and a harvest, but it’s the day that you get to watch the best professional wrestling, and you get a whole holiday (Black Friday) on the next day that’s entirely devoted to shopping. A holiday….for shopping. Impressive! (in the interests of full-disclosure, we have Boxing Day up here, but the difference is that Boxing Day has been co-opted by the shopping interests, whereas Black Friday just sort of organically grew by itself).
Ummm….the first thanksgiving in America??
The Canadian Thanksgiving is decidedly more low-key, and the most we generally do is watch Canadian football, and spend one last day at the cottage (for those fortunate enough to have one). It’s the weekend that you start to prepare your house and car for the coming winter and then we get to reward ourselves with a huge meal with loved ones. I’m okay with that.
I’m going to stuff my face with turkey, and be way too-tired to do anything more than gurble and blurble like a barely-sentient pile of squishy carbon and calcium. The tryptophan in the turkey won’t be what makes me sleepy
, it’ll be the 87 kilograms of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, cheese and broccoli that does it.
My stomach may explode this weekend, releasing into my body all manner of delicious food that my mom and sister worked so hard to make . If that happens, it is my dying wish that everyone who reads this be shipped a part of the Stephen-stuffing (or, ‘Stuphing’) where it will then be devoured. I aim to be delicious for you.