Monday, October 14, 2013

A Canadian Thanksgiving

by Anita Mae Draper

Happy Thanksgiving to anyone who is thankful for blessings received no matter where they live, but especially to Canadians who are feasting on turkey and trimmings today. We were blessed with the scenery in the above photo on Friday night at the start of this Thanksgiving weekend. An awesome inspiring vision of God's handiwork. How can we not help but praise Him for his blessings?

A couple weeks ago, I draped our dining room table in its Thanksgiving finery to match the colors of the leaves spiraling down from their summer heights. At least they look colorful inside the house where the real ones don't grow.

Although we're staying home this Thanksgiving because Nelson is on call, in preceding years, we've stuffed ourselves at his sister's place in Regina where they lay out a feast of a dozen dishes including the holopchi and perogi of their Ukranian heritage. White turkey meat, dark turkey meat, and ham. Cauliflower, creamed turnips and mashed potatoes. Spiced beets, pickles, and 2 types of salad. Gravy and cranberry sauce. And for dessert, there's pumpkin pie with ice cream and whipped cream, your choice of one or both. My goodness, I'm getting full just thinking about it.

Traditionally, Thanksgiving has been a day of praising God for blessings received, especially the harvest which everyone depended upon. Thanksgiving wasn't always on the 2nd Monday of October, however.

The Newmarket Era. September 22, 1893

There must have been some public outcry about the late date, because while researching the Newmarket Era for genealogy items that I can use on my Author Memories blog featuring the 1911 Courtship Letters, I found this proclamation:

The Newmarket Era. September 29, 1911

1911 was a banner year for the Canadian harvest and my 1911 Courtship: Aug 13 Dear Ethel post shows the newspaper ads where 50,000 men were needed to get the crop off the fields. At church yesterday, Pastor Lorne said we have lots to be thankful for especially this year's record crop - the best in the history of Canada.

In fact, this year's grain harvest is so big, the normal round temporary grain bins aren't suitable, and the farmers have switched to tubes similar to those used in the silage industry. These long, caterpillar like shelters are about 8 feet wide and seem to go on forever. I haven't looked up the actual specs yet, but I'd say these 2 tubes are holding the equivalent of 5 temporary round bins in a spot where this farmer normally only has one, two at the most.

Temporary Grain storage for the 2013 Canadian Harvest

About the date, according to the Canadian Heritage website, "From 1936 to 1956, inclusive, a proclamation was issued yearly to appoint the second Monday of October as Thanksgiving Day. In 1957, a proclamation was issued fixing permanently Thanksgiving Day on that day, thus eliminating the necessity of an annual proclamation."

A Thanksgiving Service, attended by Canadian troops,
being held in the Cambrai Cathedral (Notre-Dame de GrĂ¢ce chapel),
Oct 13th, 1918. Courtesy wikipedia.

I really like having Thanksgiving in October because that's when the leaves are falling, the pumpkins are orange, and the harvest is getting in the bin. By the 1st week of November, many provinces are covered in snow with the trees all bare. It feels more like Christmas than Thanksgiving.

This year our thoughts of Thanksgiving extend to our daughter, Jessie, who is working in Indonesia on the island of Sumatra as an intern for Samaritan's Purse - the people who distribute the Shoe Boxes around the world at Christmas. Jessie and her roommate, Meagan,  another intern from Canada, started a blog about their life and adventures called Musings from Indonesia.

Jessie's last post was about finally seeing primates in the wild - a dream she's had since a very young girl. The current post is Meagan's and it's entitled, Chili Peppers for Breakfast (and other food Phenomena). Meagan writes, "In honour of the upcoming Thanksgiving festivities, I thought I might start this blog post with the top five Indonesian foods that I am thankful for this season..." If you're any type of foodie, you might be interested in Meagan's list.

On this Canadian Thanksgiving, we take time to praise God for our blessings. We're all different, and we all have different needs, but we all need to praise God for every blessing received.

Handcrafted by Kathy Shishkowski, Candiac, SK

How was your harvest this year? Did you receive a blessing you weren't expecting? 


Anita Mae Draper is retired from the Canadian Armed Forces and lives on the prairie of southeast Saskatchewan, Canada with her hubby of 30 plus years and the youngest of their 4 kids. She writes cowboy stories set in the Old West, and Edwardian stories set in the East.  Anita Mae  semi-finaled in the ACFW's 2011 Genesis contest, and finaled in the Daphne du Maurier, Fool for Love, Duel on the Delta and the Linda Howard Award of Excellence contests.  Anita Mae's short story, "Riding on a Christmas Wish" will appear in A Christmas Cup of Cheer, Guideposts Books, October 2013.  Anita Mae is represented by Mary Keeley of Books & Such Literary Agency. You can find Anita at


  1. Happy Thanksgiving, Anita Mae! Wishing you and your family a delightful day. Your feast certainly sounds delicious, and I imagine you are busy in the kitchen right now.

    I think an early Thanksgiving is smart. In the US, the holiday has been taken over by Christmas to an extent.

    Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends!

  2. Thanks, Susie.

    No, not in the kitchen. With only 3 of us, we're having a simple pre-cooked dinner ham and I have hours yet before Nelson returns from work.

  3. Happy Thanksgiving, Anita and everyone! Thanks for letting us in on how the Canadians do it.

    As for your question, my harvest has been mixed this year, but I am thankful for all that I have. God continues to surprise me in the way he provides :)

    1. That's great, Jen. Some people don't like surprises of any kind, but sometimes they're just what we need even if we didn't ask for them. You have an inspiring attitude.

      Thanks for sharing. :)

  4. Happy Thanksgiving, Anita Mae. I hope you are all having a wonderful family time together.

    1. We only have JJ at home this Thanksgiving, Lisa, so it's a quiet year. But I'm treasuring this time with him since there's always been other kids around.

  5. Thanksgiving might be my favorite holiday because I love fall and it's rather stress-free except for how your belly hurts after the meal. But for me, an American thanksgiving means one month until Christmas. I think we'd appreciate it more here but we do have Columbus Day which marks the most colorful weekend of leaf-peeping and a three day weekend for many.

    Hope you had a lovely day and thanks for sharing about Jessie!

  6. Deb, I always feel sorry for the turkey farmers because unlike chicken, they are only needed/wanted for 2-3 months of the year. It must be a hard way to live if that's your sole means of support.

  7. Thanks for this great Canadian Thanksgiving post! I finally have time to post as we'd had our meal with my husband's extended family (siblings, nieces, nephews, kids, grandkids). I think we had close to 30 people there today! A great day to celebrate together!
    My garden harvest was good although the garden was small this year!

    1. That's great, Elaine! Sounds like a double blessing - one for season and one for the day to celebrate it. :)

      Thanks for making time for us and sharing your day.

  8. Well, I guess we're Canadian this year. We had an early Thanksgiving meal tonight while Christi is home for fall break.

    1. Awh, that's nice, Dina. I'm glad Christi was able to make it home.

      I thought for sure Nick would be back, but with the Martyr's life program he's taking this year, they do one week in the college and one week on the road. Hopefully we'll see him at Christmas.

      Thanks for sharing. Enjoy your time with Christi. I know you miss her when she's gone.


Share This Post

How Our Giveaways Work: The Official Rules

We, the ladies of Inkwell Inspirations, would love to give free stuff to everybody. Since we can't, we will often have a giveaway in conjunction with a specific post. Unless otherwise stated, one winner will be drawn from comments left on that post between the date it was published and the end of the giveaway as determined in the post. Entries must be accompanied by a valid email address. This address is used only to contact the commenter in the event that he/she is the winner, and will not be sold, distributed, or used in any other fashion. The odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. NO PURCHASE, PLEDGE, OR DONATION NECESSARY TO ENTER OR TO WIN. ALL FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL AND MUNICIPAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS APPLY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.