My favourite Thanksgiving traditions
By Taylor Charlebois, Contributor
It’s that time of the year again when the weather gets colder and the leaves on all the trees go from green to beautiful shades of yellow and red. Fall often symbolizes change and reminds us of all the things we are thankful for. For me, Thanksgiving weekend is what truly kicks off the fall season!
Canadian Thanksgiving takes place on the second Monday of October, the holiday is typically filled with family, friends, plenty of great food, drinks and typically a special, two-games-in-a-row set of football. It is a time for us to relax and spend time with the ones we care about — and of course, eat ourselves silly.
I have put together a few things that I am thankful for during this time of year. It’s important to take a pause and think what’s important to us, and Thanksgiving is a great time to do just that.
There are plenty of different traditions when it comes to what is normally eaten on Thanksgiving Day in Canada, but nothing is more synonymous with the holiday than having a main dish of turkey. The turkey is usually accompanied by stuffing, different assortments of potatoes, corn, gravy, fall vegetables and the go-to dessert — pumpkin pie.
Now, I don’t mean to hate pumpkin pie, but I am personally a sucker for a key lime pie instead. I will most definitely eat half of an entire pie by myself if left unchecked.
Gatherings also include consumption of alcoholic beverages such as wines and assorted beers. In my family, we always get a couple bottles of white and red wines to pair with the food. There is something special about a perfectly chilled glass of white wine before sitting down and eating your bodyweight in turkey and stuffing.
Much like our American counterparts, Canadians gather together to watch football on Thanksgiving. The CFL hosts the Thanksgiving Day Classic, the much-awaited national game specially aired for this occasion. People often have the game playing in the background at gatherings and other events.
This celebration of sport and competition has been going on for what feels like as long as the holiday itself. However, this traditional game originally started in 1997 to compensate for not being part of the Labour Day Classic festivities, which is the American version of the event. Either way, it is a welcome addition to a merry celebration.
My family always huddles together around the television and makes silly bets over what team will win and by how many points. Competition is high and game day food and drink always tastes better when your team wins.
If you’re anything like my family, then you all enjoy a nice annual stroll through nature on Thanksgiving Day. We are a family with dogs, so we always leash up the pups, throw some gloves on and go for a big walk before we sit down to eat a ton of food.
Since Thanksgiving is in mid-October, it’s the perfect time of year for walking around and checking out the beautiful colours of leaves on the trees.
Living in Alberta provides an amazing opportunity for us to explore our beautiful landscapes, be that hiking in the mountains or walking along the Bow River. There are countless hikes near the city for all skill levels so that all of your family members can join in.
Similarly, Calgary is littered with amazing paths interwoven throughout the city’s downtown area. You can take a trail that brings you across the city and there are so many hidden gem locations to be discovered.
As a tradition, Thanksgiving celebrates the harvest and other blessings over the past year. Today, things aren’t so different. There are so many things to be grateful for here in Canada. So, make sure you take some time and remember the things you are thankful for.