Happy Thanksgiving to everyone celebrating today. As a Canadian, I celebrated the second Monday in October. As in the United States, we celebrate with family dinners and lots of food, but it’s not as big a day as the US celebration. Christmas tends to be a bigger holiday for us.

In the US the event, commonly called the “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated by the pilgrims after the first harvest in the New World in October, 1621. I was surprised because I thought it would be a date closer to the November date it’s celebrated on today.

Thanksgiving has been celebrated nationally on and off since 1789, after a proclamation by George Washington. Since 1863 it was been celebrated as a federal holiday every year. During the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficial Father who dwelleth in the Heavens,” to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. Today Thanksgiving in the United States is a public holiday and still celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November.

Today it’s a huge family getting together around turkey stuffing and football. Everyone travels to be home for that day. There are a few differences between the Canadian and US dinner menu. Canadians stuff the turkey with sausage meat plus a regular stuffing. Brussel sprouts are the most popular vegetable and we always have pumpkin pie. The US have sweet potato pie with marshmallows, or a similar sweet potato dish. Pecan pie is popular for dessert.

Thanksgiving is the beginning of the holiday season which includes Christmas and the New Year. (Thank you, Wikipedia, for the historical information.)

This year, because of Covid, health experts are recommending people celebrate at home with only the people who live in the house. Six people or less. So stay safe, wear masks, social distance and enjoy the food and football. Next year we’ll have a normal Thanksgiving.