Sometimes in life you truly are surprised. This was a fully packed weekend: rodeo, the motorcycle show, and then celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving. Mark and Kari are great friends of mine. Mark married Kari, who is Canadian. As I’ve come to know her, I’ve been learning lots about our bretheren to the north. Canada is a pretty cool place… in more ways than one.
Jour de l’Action de grâce?
I know Canadians are thankful people, but it never dawned on me that they celebrate a Thanksgiving too! Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving a lot like we do. Some reports date Canadian Thanksgiving back to the 1500s and others say the 1700s. Ours supposedly was in the 1620s but who really knows for sure.
Canadian Thanksgiving is superior to ours in a few important ways as it is celebrated on the 2nd Monday in October:
- It’s well separated from Christmas
- Gives a real holiday in October vs Columbus Day that is really only for banks and Massachusetts.
- It’s on a day next to a weekend. No holiday hangover and using vacation for Friday!
- The weather is better earlier in the year!
Enough about Canada, eh?
So Mark and I went to the Grand National Rodeo the night before and since it was late, I crashed in their guest room. Kari let me know there would be a number of people coming over and to show back up at the house at 5. They were adamant they didn’t want any help… So off to the motorcycle show I went.
I stroll back over about 5pm and shortly there after Kari asks me to go meet Pete and Heather to help them bring some stuff in. I remember thinking, wow, that’s a large suitcase. I guess parents these days bring a lot of stuff with kids. Once we all got in side everyone shouted, “Merry Christmas!”
I was so confused. What happened to the Canadians?
As I looked around the whole house was decorated in Christmas stuff. There was a tree, knick-knacks, holiday music on the radio, the whole nine yards. The house was fully decorated. Canadian Thanksgiving, as awesome of a holiday as it is, was just a cover. They all conspired to ensure I had a full Christmas as I didn’t know what the fate of Christmas 2013 would be. Would I be in Sydney, back east, or in the Bay Area?
I was overwhelmed. For a guy that doesn’t show much emotion, I about lost it thinking about the evening. They all went to so much trouble on my account. I felt so loved. Hell, writing this blog weeks later still gives me warm fuzzies.
It was great to take some photos that evening as Heather joked, “Hey, when do you have your whole family dressed up in Christmas weeks before the holiday?” It was the perfect time for Christmas cards!
We broke bread, drank wine, ate well, shared gifts, and for a brief moment in time, it really felt like Christmas. The weather didn’t disappoint either. It was cold, windy, and full of fog.
There are those times in life you are truly touched. I can’t put into words how much that evening really meant to me. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.