Living in Canada is a lot of fun. This is a beautiful country with endless adventure. But still, I am American and some times really miss American things.
From the very beginning of my life in Canada I have made an effort to make American holidays as special as Canadian holidays. This has proven to be difficult at times. I am used to picnics and fireworks on July 4. But with 24 hour daylight you can hardly enjoy fireworks in the summer.
Thanksgiving is a hard holiday for me here sometimes. Since it is just any other day here, Shane works all day. It is a hard holiday to keep special sometimes. But there are a few things I do every year to keep it fun.
- Thankful Turkey Hands. I remember doing these growing up. I trace each of the kids’ hands on brown paper and cut them out. I cut out 4 colorful feathers for each of the kids out of construction paper. They glue the hand on a paper and then the four feathers onto each finger, leaving the thumb to draw a face on. Then on each feather they write one thing they are thankful for.
- Watch “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving”. Charlie Brown might be our favorite. I think he is. This movie is fun but also teaches some history and why we celebrate Thanksgiving.
- Bake with the kids. A full blown Thanksgiving meal doesn’t always happen since we do one for Canadian Thanksgiving in October. But we always make sure the kids get to bake some pies and smell the wonderful fall scents of pumpkin and apples. Doesn’t that smell instantly make you think “Thanksgiving”?
- Decorate. Not a lot. I am not good at decorating in the first place. But hanging some leaves around the house (I printed some out a couple years ago and reuse them each year) and maybe some pumpkin pictures on frig can help make the home feel festive. And of course, doing this with the kids is what makes it fun and memorable for them.
What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving traditions? What do you do every year? What do you cook or bake every year? Share with us! Maybe you live in a country that doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving at the same time as the States. What struggles do you face? How do you make it more special?