Monday, October 11, 2004

Canadian Thanksgiving doesn't seem to be so much as a big deal for Canadians as it is for Americans. For one, it wasn't made a national holiday until 1957. But, it is also tied in much less with Canadian history than with American history. While most folks know that American Thanksgiving is celebrated to commemorate the settling of the pilgrims in Massachusetts and the shared meal between the native people (we have countless Thanksgiving TV specials to thank for that), most Canadians aren't aware of the history behind it.

There isn't one particular concrete historical event that is accepted to be the main reason for Canadian Thanksgiving, but here's a quick sampling:

-It was originally a European tradition to celebrate the fall harvest, which was brought over to Canada when European settlers arrived.
-In 1578, English traveller Martin Frobisher attempted to find a northern passage to the Orient, but instead settled in Canada. The "first" Thanksgiving was held to celebrate his good fortune.
-Was held in April 15th, 1872 after the then-future King Edward VII recovered from a serious illness.

Whatever the history, there are still reasons to be thankful. What am I thankful for?

-A supportive family that I know I can turn to when I need them. This family has gotten a little bit smaller this year, but it is still my family nonetheless.

-Good friends. As much as people constantly come in and out of my life, I'm grateful that I have people that I can talk to, hang out with, and just be myself without worrying about being judged.

-My health. Mind you, I'll always have to work at this one (proper diet and exercise), but I'm grateful that I'm not chronically ill like my late father or struggling with addiction issues like many other people. I'm also grateful that I didn't fall off that ladder last weekend, or else I'd be composing this from a hospital bed. But, like I later brought up in one of my classes that week, "The best thing about almost dying at work is that you get to go home early."

-Heroes. We always need more of them, not ones that are pre-fabricated by the media. I mean people like Christopher Reeve, an actor that fought for spinal cord research, who passed away yesterday, as opposed to heroes that pre-fabricated by the media.

-The stuff I have. Thankfully, I'm not particularly materialistic, which was important this year because I ended up bouncing around from job to job before going back to school. This is important as I'm not able to fill my life with as much crap as I used to (eg: clothes, eating out, stuff that I generally don't need).

-The Internet. Where would I be without it?

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving to all my readers.

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