Canada has Thanksgiving??

Happy Turkey Day, eh!
Happy Turkey Day, eh!

This weekend in Canada is Thanksgiving.  I was reflecting today on how happy and thankful I am that this year I am not at a trade show for Thanksgiving weekend, but at home with my family, where I belong.

While reflecting on that, I had a chuckle, remembering the year I had a conversation about Thanksgiving with the president of the last company I worked for.  I admit to you, I was ashamed of her ignorance.  Here was graduate of Harvard (Yale, maybe? whatever), running the family business (not well, mind you) and she did not know Canada celebrated Thanksgiving – WTF??!!  In fact, she was indignant in her commentary suggesting we didn’t even deserve one!  Was she kidding, I thought?  What ego!  It was really just another example of her personal ignorance, but this time I couldn’t hold back my own indignance.  I think that may have been the beginning of the end for me with that company! LOL

While in Las Vegas at the convention that year, I found myself bringing up our Thanksgiving regularly.  I was polling, to be honest.  I wanted to see if my newly acquired opinion of the American ego was justified.  Sadly, at least in my industry (over 300,000 attendees at this particular trade show, fyi), I discovered that there was a great deal of shock that our two countries celebrate many of the same occasions, if on different dates, including Thanksgiving.

So today, for any American readers who may, like the Harvard grad ex-boss, not understand that Canada even has a Thanksgiving ….or why ….I thought I’d give you a quick rundown of our bisecting histories to understand why we, like you, may want to give thanks at this time of year.  Here you go!

  • Canada is attached to the US!  In fact, we share a very long border as part of the third largest continent; this has a tendency to make our history and our cultures very similar, we even have similar holidays; it happens!
  • We were first discovered by Vikings in 1000 a.d. by Leif Ericson, then when Cabot & Champlain and all the other European explorers claimed to rediscover this land, settlement started in the late 15th century; right about the time the shores of America were trampled by Columbus in 1492 – so, while our country is technically younger as an independent nation, (we were “born” in 1867), we have actually been colonizing this continent just as long….if not longer
  • We have indigenous (Native) people too!  (isn’t that crazy!)
  • They were pretty pissed when we tried to colonize and take their land from them!  (imagine that?!)
  • next, there’s a reason they call this “the great white north” – we suffered even MORE harsh winters than our neighbouring American settlers
  • just like Americans, it was because of our native hosts in this country, we didn’t died off completely due to exposure and starvation
  • WE have a lot to be thankful for too!
  • Why October?  We just don’t want to be anything like you  Our harvest cycle is earlier due to our more northern exposures, so celebrating the abundance of harvest makes better sense for us in October when the crops are actually coming in

This lecture was brought to you by the letter “F”!  I hope I brought a little bit of enlightenment to your day. 🙂


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