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Who Has The Better Thanksgiving Date?

November 21, 2018

Who has it better — Canadians and their October Thanksgiving or Americans and their November Thanksgiving?

Tomorrow our friends in America will be celebrating their Thanksgiving — a holiday us Canadians already had over a month ago. I’m sure you can still remember the smell of those mouth-watering feast that filled your house in October, just as I’m sure your stomach growls in envy that those lucky neighbours to the south who get to stuff their faces this weekend. But did Americans face a similar sting of jealousy back in October? Were they even aware we were celebrating our Thanksgiving? It begs the question, who has the better Thanksgiving?

On the surface, these holidays are quite similar. The food remains pretty consistent in both the North and the South. There’s turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and gravy being the cornerstones. Also, the general concept of giving thanks is a strong factor with how Americans and Canadians celebrate. But the real differences go way back in history.

First thing to acknowledge, Canada had the idea of Thanksgiving first (yay!). It was invented by travellers to the new country as a way of thanking God for their safe voyage. There are some that would say the history of the Canadian Thanksgiving is maybe easier to swallow. But in today’s society, people are more willing to take an honest look at this history while keeping hold of the pleasant traditions.

Many Americans would immediately associate the holiday with football and for good reason. Rivaled only by Super Bowl Sunday, the “Turkey Bowl” is one of the most anticipated football events of the year. Families gather together to cheer on their favourite teams, just adding an extra bit of fun to the weekend. But, a little-known fact, Canada has football too! Although the CFL might not carry the prestige of the NFL, it is still a big draw for our own Thanksgiving. And, of course, this being Canada, we also have Hockey Night in Canada to keep us entertained.

With the history, food and sports of the holiday taken care of, it’s time we look at how the all-around celebration of the holiday differs between Canada and America. Here, us Canadians need to face the truth; Thanksgiving just isn’t as big of a deal to us as it is to Americans. Yes, it’s a great excuse to spend time with loved ones, a nice way to kick-off the fall season and, of course, the food. But Americans just do it much bigger, and the difference in the time of year is a big reason for that. When Canadians are done with Thanksgiving, we move on to Halloween, but in America, Thanksgiving is the official heralding of the Christmas season – much more exciting. Their Thanksgiving parades are an annual highlight for many Americans, always capped off with the season’s first appearance of Santa Claus. And then there’s the shopping. For good or bad, Thanksgiving in The States is synonymous with Black Friday, the frenzied sales day. And considering all the madness surrounding the holiday, maybe us Canadians have the right idea keeping things a little calmer and a little quieter.

Regardless of your preference in the celebration of the holiday, each of us can celebrate Thanksgiving as we like and get all the joy we can out of the day. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you celebrating this weekend!


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