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Thanksgiving traditions

Thanksgiving traditions

The late newspaper columnist Irv Kupcinet once wrote “An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day.” Given the common North American tradition of consuming large meals on Thanksgiving, this humorous quote would ring true to many of the millions of people who celebrate this occasion every year.

From roast turkey and cranberry sauce, to stuffing and pumpkin pie, these unique food items – along with many other accompanying side dishes – are a staple of the Thanksgiving dinner. As such, they have formed into a tradition associated with a very large dinner for this holiday, making it nearly impossible, as Kupcinet gently alludes, for anyone to commence a diet on this day.

However, as recognizable as turkey and pumpkin pie is, families often create their own traditions, incorporating other customs and rituals into this fall holiday. Here are some Thanksgiving traditions shared by a few Investors Group Consultants.

All of the extended family goes for at least one major walk in the forest surrounding Lost Lake - with dogs in tow. We devote Saturday evening to charades and board-games. It also allows us to disconnect the electronics for a time and spend quality family time with those people whom really matter. Prior to the Thanksgiving evening meal – we ask each participant to briefly tell everyone one thing that they are thankful for in their lives during the past year.  It can be a bit interesting to say the least as the ages and stages of life are quite varied, however it’s really heartfelt and honest dialogue. For the meal, we typically cook a few turkeys with all of the fixings, BBQ wild salmon and a wide assortment of vegetable dishes, potatoes, salads and many different desserts like pumpkin pie and homemade ice cream.
Tim Whittaker, Consultant

We conveniently rotate who will host the dinner amongst family in Calgary and Red Deer. My brother is typically the one that goes all out with the amount of food he prepares – which without fail includes the turkey. However when we host we go non-traditional, as we have never made turkey just to keep others on their toes.
Max Britos, Senior Financial Consultant

Even though this statutory holiday is not much celebrated, it remains a HOLIDAY! This long weekend will be appreciated… as well as the turkey with all the family!
Lucie Bouchard, Mutual Funds representative, Financial Security Advisor, Advisor in Group Insurance and Group-Annuity Plans

When thinking about Thanksgiving, it must be with family, involve great tasting foods, sharing memories and playing games together. It’s these simple things that make life precious and thankful of how blessed we are.
Colin Prince, Division Director

Thanksgiving around the world

Although not always referred to as Thanksgiving, other countries celebrate a similar annual harvest festival.

In Asian culture, the moon plays heavily in their celebrations. China, for example, celebrates the August Moon festival, which lands on the 15th day of their 8th lunar month, a day which they believe the moon is brightest. In Korean culture, Chu-Sok (which means “fall evening”) is celebrated on roughly the same date as in China. Families gather under the moonlight before serving dinner to remember ancestors.

Other countries and cultures in Europe, Africa and the Middle-East all have variations of a celebration to give thanks for the year’s harvest, with the dates varying according to the region’s climate. Some celebrate a form of Thanksgiving – often tied to a traditional local harvest celebration – due to the country’s historical ties to the United States.

Regardless of the name or type of celebration, the message is always the same: recognizing all that a society has to be thankful for, and celebrating that with family and friends.