Thanksgiving. A North American tradition that those of us who migrated to Canada and the United States either get roped into or we ignore it.
Thanksgiving in Canada
Here is a brief history of Thanksgiving in Canada, my second home.
“The origins of Canadian Thanksgiving are more closely connected to the traditions of Europe than of the United States. Long before Europeans settled in North America, festivals of thanks and celebrations of harvest took place in Europe in the month of October. The very first Thanksgiving celebration in North America took place in 1578 in Canada when Martin Frobisher, an explorer from England. He wanted to give thanks for his safe arrival to the New World. That means the first Thanksgiving in Canada was celebrated 43 years before the pilgrims landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts!
For a few hundred years, Thanksgiving was celebrated in either late October or early November. [That was] before it was declared a national holiday in 1879. It was then, that November 6th was set aside as the official Thanksgiving holiday. But then on January 31st, 1957, Canadian Parliament announced that [Thanksgiving] is on the second Monday in October. This would be “a day of general thanksgiving to almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed.” Thanksgiving was later moved to the second Monday in October.”
All of the above was taken from Kidzworld. This is a resource for children and adult alike that provides invaluable historical and everyday information.
As the title of this post questions, however, is there really anything to give thanks for this year?
The year 2020 has been a thorough sh–show! It began as every year does, with hopes, promises and lots of resolutions. I for one thought this was going to be a turning point in my personal life, what with getting married in January and anticipating my husband to join me in Canada shortly thereafter.
Well no. That was not going to happen.
COVID-19, Death And Destruction Of All Plans
The spiral began with the leaks and then the full-blown news report of what turned out to be a global pandemic. After returning from my honeymoon and back at my desk, my husband and I finalized the paperwork to complete his immigration application. We were so looking forward to him being in Canada by summer at the latest.
That was not to be. The Canadian borders slammed shut, blocking anyone who was not already a citizen or permanent resident from coming in. The COVID-19 pandemic was upon us in full force by April 2020.
All movements across international borders ended. The paperwork for thousands of applicants waiting to reunite with their families stopped in their tracks. My husband was among them. Sadly, while we waited, on July 4, 2020, a gunman struck and he was murdered.
To date, 37.3 million people are infected with COVID-19 and 1.7 million dead.
So exactly what is there to be thankful for this year?
In All Things Give Thanks
Yesterday, I did our weekly Sunday Spirit, which is a reflection by one of the Directors of Daughters of Sheba Foundation.
The conversation was about giving thanks and this 1 Thessalonians 5:18 was the focus:
18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Watch the presentation and reflect on those “bad” things that you might give thanks for.
There is truly always something that we are IN the midst of that gives us the best reason to give thanks.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving meal today. Have a great time with family and friends, or if you are like me, in the company of yourself.
Peace and Love,