Thank you for coming!
Thank you for staying!
Thank you for leaving!
Thanksgiving Dinner has traditionally been consumed any day on the 3 day holiday weekend. Although I typically have several dinner invites to wade through over the Thanksgiving weekend, this holiday season I was remiss and only managed to eke out one solitary invite. This lack of a social dinner life gives me a lot more free time for the holiday. Every year I look forward to sliced turkey, fresh cranberry sauce (from the can), buttery mashed potatoes, roasted fall vegetables all covered in thick, delicious gravy (on everything. Pie too). This immense meal will be followed by the biggest slice of pumpkin pie covered in the largest ‘dollop’ of whipped cream (the serving is done when the can is empty). While I’d normally spend countless hours digesting the first through third turkey dinner, I now have the unfortunate luxury of time to think, and more specifically, think about Thanksgiving in Canada and why the heck we celebrate it anyway.
We’ve been inundated with US culture for so long that I’ve forgotten what Canadian thanksgiving even means. I’m definitely happy for the day off, of course, but WHY do we get that day off and more importantly, how can we slip in a few more?
I don’t want to blame my high school history teachers for this but I’d like to think and definitely imply that they’re at fault. Surely they could have made Canadian history more interesting and memorable. Besides Jacques Cousteau discovering poutine in Quebec and the Metis taking over middle earth, I have little recollection about the rest of Canadian history.
I think I know that US Thanksgiving has to do with pilgrims and native American Indians and discovering maize and the subsequent American proffered gifts of tainted blankets (tainted with little dipper pox, jungle fever, a case of the mondays?) and then subsequently taking over the nation. What a proud heritage they have down there but before I shoot off my sanctimonious Canadian mouth, perhaps I should first review our own potentially salmonella covered Thanksgiving history.
Checking in with my good friend the Internet, it looks as though our reason for the Thanksgiving celebration is similar to our peeps to the south:
Some explorer dude- Martin Frobisher, held a formal ‘thanks for the grub’ dinner after surviving a long journey. That meal is now considered the first Thanksgiving celebration by landed immigrants (aka the Europeans) in Canada.
Other Thanksgiving origins include being thankful for a bounty of fruits and vegetables from the preceding year. Also, something about native Canadian Indians and farmers harvesting or what have you but luckily, it didn’t mention anything about us poisoning the locals, woo (or maybe it just wasn’t listed, but I’ll leave that up to history teachers to continue to cover up).
Then I got bored of wikipedia and various other Canadian thanksgiving websites and found these cool facts instead:
From the Guinness Book of world records
- Heaviest turkey 86 lbs (39kg)
- Largest pumpkin pie? 2,020lbs (916kg), 3.7m long
- Heaviest sweet potato? 82bs (37kg)
- Largest pumpkin? 1,469lbs (666 kg)
- Fullest belly? Mine, after thanksgiving dinner. Mmmmmm 😉