I’d like to wish all my American friends and family a wonderful Thanksgiving today. Growing up in the US, Thanksgiving was, without a doubt my favourite holiday. I still remember eating dinner with my family at my aunt’s and uncle’s house. Then, watching the Cowboys play football. Then, going to the backyard and playing football with my brother. Sweet times!
In Canada, the national Thanksgiving holiday occurs on the second Monday in October, so we’ve already had our turkey! Today, it’s business as usual. In fact, I didn’t even realize it was American Thanksgiving until I was driving to work today. Shame on me, I know!
Here’s three reasons why I like celebrating Thanksgiving the second week of October.
- Fall. Every Thanksgiving, here in southern Ontario, where we live, the leaves are vibrant and rich as they are changing colours: deep red, fiery orange, thick yellow. It’s very, very beautiful. If we waited to celebrate Thanksgiving until the end of November, it would seem more like a winter holiday than a fall holiday. Of course, if you live in Florida, you don’t understand anything I’ve said so far!
- Less Christmas. Having Thanksgiving in October means that there is less red and white and smiling Santas and reindeers and elves and silver tinsel and decorated trees on public display. The commercialization hasn’t quite taken off the second week of October. By now, end of November, the Christmas horse is snorting and stamping to get out of the gate and start running down the track.
- More Christmas. Because we have already celebrated Thanksgiving, we have significantly more time to ramp up for Christmas. Personally, I like this. We are not in a rush to get our tree, to decorate our house, to plan our gifts, or send our cards. In fact, last weekend we went to a Christmas tree farm and cut down our own tree. It’s in our living room as I write this. It’s not completely decorated yet, but will be soon. We are in no hurry. In the US, it would feel a bit awkward to put up our tree before Thanksgiving.
The truth of the matter is, as Christians, we should be celebrating Thanksgiving not just in October and November, but every month and every day that our good God gives us breath! Because the best part of Thanksgiving no matter when you celebrate it, is that we have Someone to whom we can be thankful. We have a Creator who made us and a Saviour who died for us. Without that, there is no true thanksgiving.
So Happy Thanksgiving – today, and every day!