We celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving in the USA today. Do those of us outside the USA celebrate a similar Thanksgiving Day? And, for everyone who does celebrate, is this holiday a time of reflection on the things you are thankful for, or is it purely historical?
Here is how our writers answered…
Kirsten Jessiman of Toronto, Canada writes:
“We celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving on the second Monday in October. For us, the day is all about family togetherness. We take the kids for a walk and let them play in the park for a while, then we go back home and just enjoy spending the time together. And of course, we eat too much turkey! It is a day on which we reflect on how our kids make us the richest, most fortunate people on earth.”
Kally Mocho in New Jersey, USA mentions:
“Although Thanksgiving is not celebrated in Spain, the country of my parents origin, they celebrate it here in the U.S. We gather for a large meal which includes a turkey, but that’s about the only traditional food present. Like every family gathering we have, Thanksgiving also includes jamon serano, manchego cheese, and shrimp in garlic sauce. Yummy!”
Amy Hillis in Ohio, USA says:
“Celebrating Thanksgiving has always been a time for my family to come down and visit. I wish we were more focused on being Thankful or even discussing the historical aspect, but neither is a focus for us. Really, an opportunity to just spend time because it’s “mandated” by the rest of America! This year will be difficult, with David in the hospital, my family is not coming. Mother-in-law has offered to cook for us, so I’ll have a few hours to break with the hospital vigil, but it won’t be the festive occasion it usually is.”
Eva Fannon in Washington, USA writes:
“Since my husband and I are east coast transplants living on the west coast, after we had children, Thanksgiving has become a time for our family to get together and celebrate with our extended family back home.”
Allison Charleston in New York, USA writes:
“Growing up we didn’t really focus on “giving thanks” so much as “eating turkey” at Thanksgiving! Now, with my two-year old son, I plan on instilling the concept of giving thanks and actually verbalizing what it is, exactly, that we are thankful for each year. I’m excited to hear his answer this year as it’s the first year he will really think of his answer on his own. Just hope he doesn’t say he’s thankful for Thomas the Tank Engine!! ”
Courtney Cappallo of Massachusetts, USA states:
“We have a Thanksgiving Advent Calendar hanging in our kitchen. Each day you write down what you are thankful for on paper and tuck it into a slot on the designated day.
This is the first year my 5-year-old has participated in this family tradition. Every day she thinks about what she is thankful for, then writes it down in English and Spanish (as we are learning Spanish as a 2nd language in our house.)
I also read two of my favorite Thanksgiving books to my girls “Thanksgiving Day” by Anne Rockwell and “Albert’s Thanksgiving” by Leslie Tryon. They get us in the Thanksgiving spirit!
Finally, a new family tradition I started three years ago is that wherever we happen to spend our Thanksgiving we bring craft supplies for everyone we are celebrating with to make their own Indian headbands. While the meal is cooking everyone joins in on the craft and has a blast!”
Veronica Samuels of New Jersey, USA says:
“I remember making Native American vests out of brown paper bags. I was taught in school, and then I would make one for myself at home as a kid. I can’t wait to do that with my daughter this year!
Our feast will include all of the usual Thanksgiving Day foods: turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie, plus my family members usually bring a side dish or dessert to share. This year I am cooking for 20 people!
It was my niece who brought back the true meaning of Thanksgiving when she handed each family member a piece of colored paper in the shape of a feather, and we had to anonymously write down what we were thankful for. Then, she read them out during dinner. I love that part of the day!”
Maggie Ellison of South Carolina, USA states:
“We focus on being together and being thankful. I do want my kids to understand why we celebrate Thanksgiving, so we talk about the holiday, read books and make different projects.”
Do you celebrate Thanksgiving? If so, tell us how you celebrate in the comments section below!
Photo credit to http://www.flickr.com/photos/usarmyafrica/4146096561/. This photo has a creative commons attribution license.