Canadian Thanksgiving, Eh?
There are a lot of myths about Canadians. Let me address a few. Yes, we do have Thanksgiving in October. No, it is not a scheduling error. Very few of us live in igloos. We do get summer, and it’s ruddy hot. Most of us do not use “eh?” as punctuation. Very few of us have ever eaten seal. We are not all polite and self-effacing - see any Boxing Day sale for proof of that.
Boxing Day? Another fine Canadian tradition, where we get up at a ridiculously early hour on the day after Christmas and ice-skate or toboggan down to the big ticket stores for crazy specials… And use that as a cover story to sneakily exchange the hideous sweater that Aunt Adelie gave us the day before. Americans have a similar tradition of idiotic shopping hell, on Thanksgiving weekend. Why then, I don’t know. What DO you do with that sweater after Christmas?
In case you missed it, that’s my wobbling segue into the topic of Thanksgiving. Canadians celebrate the holiday in October, a full month before our American friends. Many people wonder why that is. I am happy to explain our logic:
1. We Canucks like an excuse to have a statutory holiday every month. September brings Labor Day, November offers Remembrance Day, so we were stuck in October with no excuse to party… Hence, Thanksgiving! If Halloween is ever made into a national holiday (and why not?) Canadians will promptly move Thanksgiving to February. That month really needs help.
2. It gets cold earlier in the year in Canada (though folks in the northern states feel the bite too; I’m looking at you, Wisconsin). We are a practical people. It often snows on Halloween and we want to harvest our bountiful crops before they’re all frostbitten and blackened.
3. We only have 10% of the US population. We can’t compete with the huge volume discounts the US gets - we have to dash into the markets for our fancy holiday nosh before you folks get in and clear out the grocery shelves worldwide! We stockpile for Christmas at the same time, to save a second trip and to take full advantage of those buy one get one specials.
4. It’s an excuse to feast, hang out with family and friends, and give thanks. Why wait any longer than we have to?
A few other facts about Thanksgiving:
Cranberry jelly is mandatory with turkey. While the lumpy kind is ok, the smooth cool jelly is infinitely superior. You may now debate this on the forums.
All vegetables must be covered with butter, cream sauces, exotic oil-based dressings or other means of countering the healthy aspects. This is a FEAST, not a diet.
If we had to raise and uhh… “deal with,” pluck, and clean our own turkeys, we’d all be eating beans instead. Those buggers are cute, dopey, friendly and smell much better on the outside, I promise. What in blazes am I going to do with these idiot birds now?
I’ve celebrated Thanksgiving in huge, opulent gatherings with extended family, and I’ve marked it alone with a frozen dinner. The real lesson of life is that there is always something to be truly thankful for. As the years go on, the list just gets longer.
For all my countrymen up in the Great White North, I raise a mug of the finest autumn ale on this upcoming weekend of celebration and warmth. Treat each other well, remember how good life is… and then log on to your favorite game and brag bout getting to eat, drink and be merry a whole month before our American friends!
As for me, a Canadian residing in the US? Well, in true Dwarven tradition, I celebrate both Thanksgivings! Ohhhhh yeah. My belt still has several notches to loosen,
Yer loyal (Canadian) Dwarf,
P.S. Canadians do not wear Moose hats. We do wear toques. I mean, who doesn’t like toques?
Linda “Brasse” Carlson
Senior Global Community Relations Manager