This year: Tuesday, November 28, 2017
In the US, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. In Canada the same holiday is celebrated on the second Monday of October. While recognized on different dates, the holiday is celebrated for the same reasons in both countries. In this day in age, it is to give "thanks" for what we have in life, but in past times the holiday was marked to give thanks for the bountiful end of harvest. The reason that the dates are different for each country is simply due to the fact that Canada is further north, so the harvest comes sooner.
While gifts are generally not exchanged on this particular holiday, friends and families gather together for a meal, or in most cases for a "feast". The feast usually includes turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and seasonal vegetables. Depending on what your family traditions are, the vegetable choices can vary. Some of the more popular choices for Thanksgiving vegetables include: yams, squash, carrots, beets and green beans. Cranberries are also commonly found on one's Thanksgiving table. For dessert, it is common to serve pie and usually apple or pumpkin is the flavor of choice for this occasion.
Often referred to as: "Turkey Day" rather then Thanksgiving, the holiday is known for the delicious traditional meal that is shared. Activities for this one-day holiday however can become a tradition unto themselves for each individual family. Some like to spend the day outdoors, some like watching football, attending a Thanksgiving Day parade or celebrating with a toast to give thanks. No matter how you celebrate it, Thanksgiving is a day to recognize all that you have in life as well as how important friends and family are in your life. It is a day to spend time together, share a delicious meal and to remember how lucky we are in life to have what we have.
My family, for instance likes to attend a local fall fair that is near my sister's house. We generally start our day together shortly after lunch. We have a cup of coffee or tea, catch up for a short while then we all get bundled up and head to the fair. My niece and nephew love the excitement of the fair. They love the rides, the games and the animals. As adults, we take joy in watching them as well as the actual fair itself. After a few hours we all walk back to my sister's house where we are greeted with the amazing smells of the Thanksgiving dinner, which is almost done cooking! There is nothing like the smell of roasted Turkey to get your taste buds going. After we have all enjoyed the fabulous meal, the younger generation takes to the kitchen for clean up while the older generation takes to the living room to relax. Usually at this point a football game can be heard in the background. Our evening usually finishes off with a nice glad of wine and for the men in my family, a cold beer. The most important tradition of the day however, is that we are together for the day, eating delicious food and in great company!