It’s not Thanksgiving here though the dreadful traditional shopping orgy that follows has permeated Canadian culture to the point where it rivals our own consumption holiday on Boxing Day. Today is just Thursday and while the Christmas lights are decking the house and Dee has set up the tiny pre-lit tree she’s had since she was three in her bedroom to act as a festive night-light, there is nothing particularly holiday about today.
Our own Thanksgiving is on a Monday, which might seem odd but three-day weekends with a holiday at either end make far more sense than sticking a holiday in the middle of a week and trying to pretend it is a four-day weekend. It’s not for most people and many people don’t even have Thanksgiving off either when you consider that those in retail will be going to work in the middle of the night to accommodate Black Friday gluttony.
I haven’t shopped a Black Friday in five years and I can’t say I miss it. Alright, I miss having lunch out that day, but that’s about all, and eating lunch and having a chai was about all the consuming I did on that day anyway. Thanks to my peculiar habit of starting my Christmas shopping pre-Halloween, I was normally done before Thanksgiving. As everyone else madly lunged for the bargains, I was just looking and sipping my tea and thinking about where to eat lunch. The highlight of the day was spending time with whoever I happened to be shopping with – BFF, Sis, Mom, and very rarely DNOS, who would rather have stakes driven through her arms and legs than go shopping just about ever.
It was all about the lunch. In Dubuque, we went to the Mining Company. Mushroom burgers, baskets of fries or chicken taco salad. When the shopping venue was Jordan Creek Mall in West Des Moines, Cheesecake Factory – which is also where Sis and I went when we took bus trips down to Kansas City to Christmas shop in the downtown.
Shopping with Dee means Kelsey’s and out and about with Rob on a shopping trip could be anything quick, Wendy’s or Timmy’s.
On Thanksgiving itself, I never had to cook. The first Thanksgiving meal I made was for my first Canadian Thanksgiving, and I needed Rob’s help because I had no idea how to cook a bird. Zero. Putting together a large meal for many people was not even on my list of skills. I faced a steep learning curve that first year of marriage. It’s somewhat amusing to look back at it now when one considers that I was 43 with a five-year old and a previous marriage of six years under my belt and I couldn’t cook a dinner of note to save my very soul.
The purpose behind days of thanksgiving is reflection, taking stock and recognizing what you really have.
First thing this morning, I walked into the office to find my freshly showered husband chatting at the Bell customer service rep about issues with our data plan, I realized all over again what a magnificent mate I have, wrangling with the little issues might seem a little thing until you stop to think about the fact that life is built on a mountain of little issues.
I was reminded a bit later during my chat with CB earlier today that whatever our short-comings, we are blessed to still be in contact. Not every everyone stays connected to some or all of their siblings over the course of their lifetime.
During our conversation CB mentioned that he’d chatted with Mick on Facebook that morning, and I am reminded that I have two of the most amazingly awesome grown daughters.
A snowy white owl Christmas tree ornament at Chapters today reminded me of Dee and her little tree and how both make me smile.
Facebook was littered with updates from this relative or that old friend, marking the day and wishing well.
It’s just a Thursday. Even in the States, it’s just Thursday. But, despite Nickelback’s marring of the traditional NFL game in Detroit, which at least held to the tradition of the Lion’s losing, it’s a glorious day and one I am for which I am thankful. Those thanks are numbered in people.
- Manitoba retailers dish deals to combat Black Friday (cbc.ca)
- We Should Be Thankful Everyday (transientreflections.com)
- The No Turkey Thanksgiving (lorenafeliz.wordpress.com)
One thought on “On Being Thankful”
I agree. And now it’s Friday. My daughter, husband and I have taken a trip for this holiday weekend, and we are now sitting in the parlor of a B&B 250 miles from home. We are going out later, not to shop so much as to wander in and out of the village shops and to check out the local library if it is open. Holidays are about family and when some members are separated by distance for the first time it’s time to find new ways to be grateful for all that blesses our lives.