Giving Thanks. October 11, 2010


Giving Thanks
Yesterday, Monday October 11th, was Thanksgiving.  Don decided to phone and wish his Uncle Alex, who at 82 has lived in the United States for all his adult life, a happy Canadian Thanksgiving.  We were surprised when Uncle Alex said that he did not remember celebrating Thanksgiving growing up in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  Even though Uncle Alex is starting to suffer some memory loss we wondered if he were mistaken, as usually, when the memory starts to fade the early events of a life are the ones that remain intact.
We Googled the subject to find out that Uncle Alex was correct. The formal celebration of Thanksgiving in Canada is a fairly recent event.
On January 31, 1957, the Canadian Parliament proclaimed:
“    A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed … to be observed on the 2nd Monday in October.    ”

For Thanksgiving dinner we often have an extended gathering of family plus friends, however this year it was strictly a family affair.
There were seven adults and four children sitting down to a sumptuous meal that we truly had to give thanks for in light of all the ongoing trials and tribulations that are part and parcel of living on Mother Earth. We were mindful of the toxic waste spill in Hungary.  Sent a silent prayer to the 33 miners still trapped in the Chileans mine.

We were grateful for the Calgarians who chose to forgot their own family meal in order to volunteer at the Mustard Seed (a place of shelter for those in need)in order to help prepare and serve a turkey dinner for the homeless.  This act of generosity reminds us that despite the ongoing trials experienced by so many, there is always that little ray of sunshine.
Before starting our meal we joined hands and Gillian volunteered a grace.  While eating we passed around the ‘talking rock’.  The person who has the rock has the floor and expresses gratitude for something positive in their life or the good things that happened that day.  The aim is to focus on the positive even if, at the end of the day, you feel as if you’ve been flattened by a Mac truck.

One thing that everyone feels gratitude for is the Indian Summer we have been blessed with.  For those not familiar with the term it refers to a period of unseasonably sunny and clear weather (above 21 °C (70 °F) after  all the leaves have put on their fall colours, but before the first snow has fallen.  It is the reprieve that those who live in the northern hemisphere long for before the snow blankets the landscape for the long, cold, dark, winter months.

What was on our dinner table?  Turkey with Apple-sausage dressing; Chevre mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts with bacon, savory carrots, gourmet sweet potatoes (the real sweet potato not yams), baking soda biscuits and cranberry sauce.  Plus, an assortment of pickles.  Not to mention the wine.
For dessert we strayed from the normal.  Usually it’s lemon meringue pie, apple pie and pumpkin pie.  This year, as we celebrated three birthdays while giving thanks, we served chocolate cake with boiled sugar icing, garnished with dark chocolate shavings.  As it is mandatory to have something pumpkin we had pumpkin cheesecake instead of the traditional pumpkin pie.

At the end of a happy family occasion we stop to reflect on life’s constant changes and wonder where we will all be next year?  Will additions (the birth of a baby) or deletions (a death) take place?  Whether the upcoming events are happy or sad overall it is lucky that we cannot see into the future. All we can do is give thanks for what we have today and let tomorrow take care of itself.

A belated Happy Thanksgiving to all!!

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8 комментариев на «Giving Thanks. October 11, 2010»

  1. Павел говорит:

    Thanks a lot, Sheila!
    and all the best to you! 😉

  2. Aika говорит:

    Thanks a lot for your congratulation Sheila. I think that Thanksgiving Day is very important day.
    Now I live in Kazakhstan and we don’t have this type of holiday. In my childhood we invited a lot of guests at home. My mother cooked delicious dishes. We were so happy at that time. Our relations were very strong. But now our society has lost any traditions, because we try to earn much money, be successful person. Moreover we forgot how important be together with own family.
    Once I have decided to change my mind. Someday my new home will be Canada, so I and my family should try to involve the Canadian way of life. First of all we have decided to celebrate all holidays like Canadian people. The Thanksgiving Day was a good start. We cooked the turkey with apples inside and the pumpkin. My parents with great pleasure accepted my invitation. I explain the main aim of this holiday. At the table we said together many thanks, remembered the best events of our life. Everything was like in my childhood, we were together and happy.
    I respect the way and values of Canadian life and I hope that once it will be part of my life.

  3. Eduard говорит:

    Hi Sheila,
    Thanks a lot for your congratulation!
    I absolutely agree with Aika because I also hope that once my family will start to celebrate this day in the Canada…

  4. Aizhan говорит:

    Thanks a lot, Sheila!
    I agree with you, that we should say thanks for all every day: for life, for health, for roof over a head, for meal on the table and so on. Such these holidays give us opportunity to feel the close people’s worm and make family relashionships stronger.
    Thanks for an interesting article as well.

  5. Семён говорит:

    Thanks, Sheila!

    This thanksgiving my family and I thought it would be appropriate to actually give thanks to God. So, we sat on the floor and took turns to do that (the talking rock concept — without the rock itself). The little one (1yr3m) seeing something unusual going on, decided to participate — in his own way 🙂 He pulled a diaper out of the package and threw it in the centre of our circle. I took liberty to voice his opinion, saying: «Michael thanks for diapers». That was pretty much the end of our peaceful initiative, for as soon as our daughter (6 yrs old) heard these words, she started laughing — and couldn’t stop for a long, long time. In fact, her excitement and laughter ended only with bedtime on that day!

    Anyway, we had the turkey too. Actually, there is still some left over in the fridge… 🙂

  6. Виталий говорит:

    Thanks Sheila!

    Canadian and American holydays like Thanksgiving or Christmas gives very warm feelings to me.

  7. Sheila говорит:

    Hi Aika
    It sounds like you had a wonderful family gathering. The kind of gathering that creates happy memories.
    If and when you settle in Canada I think that you may adopt some Canadian customs but I feel confident that you will retain some from your home country of Kazakhstan. That is one of the things that make Canada a wonderful country to live in. Everyone is invited to add who they are to the multicultural fabric that makes up Canada.

  8. Sheila говорит:

    HI Семён,
    It sounds like your dinner was a huge success — enjoyed by all. Children have a way of enlivening any occasion.
    We too still have turkey in our fridge. That bird seems to just keep giving and giving until you are heartily sick of it.

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