My friend Christy posted a lengthy comparison of Canadian vs. American Thanksgiving practices. I'm sure most of her comments are ment to be rhetorical but I, as a native Canadian, feel led to answer them. (read her entry first or mine won't make sense)
1. It's not too early for Thanksgiving. It's just right. Four weeks before Christmas is WAY too late. That doesn't give nearly enough time. Mid October is perfect (although I will admit that it snuck up on me this year because it is a bit early). Keep in mind too that you're further North now. Harvest happens sooner (or at least that's what I've been told)
Halloween happens after Thanksgiving. Having Thanksgiving first gives you the opportunity to decorate in a "harvest" theme (which may or many not include ghosts and goblins) and leave it up for longer with out your neighbours wondering if you've lost it.
2. Gravy. Okay, I'll freely admit that I have yet to make gravy. I still rely on my wonderful mother. Maybe I'll pay attention this year and try and figure it out though.
3. Remind me to post MY stuffing recipe. Okay, it's actually Grandmas. It uses regular ole bread crumbs which I have been collecting for months...and a fresh loaf of brown bread if necessary. Burnt butter, secret spices (<-- meaning I can't remember them right now) celery and onions. No weird fruit. No heavy spices. Just wonderful warm goodness.
Also, while my brothers and I insist on calling it STUFFING, it is rarely if ever cooked IN the bird. It's generally done in a four quart pan on the stove or in the oven. Dad calls it dressing and we ignore him until he calls it stuffing...even if he is right.
As for green bean casserole. Not a tradition for me so I can't comment. It does sound good though.
4. The day of Thanksgiving. You have to admit that in this day and age where most people are part of a "non-traditional family" having three days available for Thanksgiving dinner makes life SO much easier. This year my family is celebrating on Sunday. This leaves Monday for me to get together with a friend. In the past I have had the pleasure(?!) of taking part in THREE Thanksgiving dinners. Saturday, Sunday and Monday. A gastronomical delight :)
As for the stats. Damn-straight :D New Years Day until Easter is THE LONGEST part of the year. Having regular stats from May to December does much to improve the moral of the populace. All the power to those politicians who are pushing for a stat in February. I'm in favour of it.
5. Shopping. You have 78 days to shop! Isn't that wonderful? Christmas shopping is no longer smushed in to four short weeks or one psychotic day where Wal-mart shoppers get trampled over $20 DVD players. The extended shopping time makes everyone (including the stores) happier.
As for braving the border? Not anymore. With our dollar at par the border is getting stupider by the day...and their guards aren't any better. After all, someone may be smuggling turkey.
Yes, it's perfectly acceptable to celebrate both Canadian and American Thanksgiving. It's an excuse for extra turkey. Why not?
As for the relatives, you have to agree that spreading Christmas and Thanksgiving out makes so much more sense. Two trips to see family within one month is too much. Separated by ten weeks works!
So Christy, good luck on finding the onion stuff and to you, and all my other blog readers, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!