Why Canadian Thanksgiving is Better than American Thanksgiving

I'm an American who has lived in Canada since 2004. I'm now proud to be a Canadian (as well as an American) citizen. As many Canadians (but not a lot of Americans) know, Canada has its Thanksgiving on a different day.

It's today.

I love Thanksgiving and I celebrate both. So I get two Thanksgivings every year (sometimes more; see below). I'm going to talk about the big differences and their significance.

1. Canadian Thanksgiving is at a more reasonable date.
Today is October 9, 2017, and it's Thanksgiving day in Canada. In America, Thanksgiving is in late November. The problem with the American date is that it's just too close to Christmas. The two days when it's most important to travel to be with family in the whole year (in much of American culture) are Thanksgiving and Christmas, which are only a month apart. Lots of college students, who might only be able to afford go to home twice a year, do it on these two dates. Too close! Mid-October gives you a little breathing room and time to actually start to miss your family again.

2. Thanksgiving seems to be more important in America. 
This isn't good or bad, but it seems to me that getting home for Thanksgiving was always a much bigger deal in America than it was in Canada.

3. You can have Canadian Thanksgiving dinner on any day  (and, indeed, multiple days) of the Thanksgiving weekend.
My Canadian friends are often surprised when I tell them that in America, you actually have to have Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving day.  Likewise, I was surprised when my beloved (and Canadian) wife first asked me what night I wanted to have Thanksgiving dinner on. I tell Canadians that for an American, suggesting that one have Thanksgiving dinner on another night is like negotiating about having Christmas morning a day or two earlier to make it more convenient for weekend plans. We just don't do it. But in Canada, Thanksgiving can be any day of the weekend. The great thing about this is that, if you have a lot of friends and family, you can have more than one full Thanksgiving dinner every year! You can have it with friends on Friday, and with relatives on Monday, and still have time for one just for you on Saturday, if you really can't get enough.

Wherever you live, and whenever you celebrate, cheers to the things you have to be thankful for!


Janet said…
Good thoughts! And I agree with you!!

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