THANKSGIVING IN CALGARY: HERITAGE PARK, MAYA'S BIRTHDAY

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Thanksgiving. Canadian Thanksgiving to be more exact. A time to celebrate a bountiful harvest by stuffing our faces with dead bird, starchy potatoes and tasty, tasty pumpkin pie. ...Or something like that. This year I learned (or relearned - I’m not too sure) that the Canadian Thanksgiving actually began when some explorer dude accidentally ended up in somewhere in Greenland and was greeted by some friendly indigenous peoples known as Inuits. He held a celebration to give thanks for the food and the safe journey. While this may be the origin of Thanksgiving, I’m pretty sure I’ve never celebrated it with the colonist in mind. 

What is it then that I celebrate every year? To be honest, up until this year I’ve only recognized Thanksgiving for the meal. Boy oh boy do I ever love Thanksgiving dinner. Growing up it was the turkey, my Grandma’s stuffing and cranberry sauce that really got me. Since I’ve made the transition to vegetarian I haven’t gotten to enjoy any of those things (except for the cranberries) for many years, but I appreciate all of the other things on a whole other level now. Squash of every kind in various different forms, Tofurkey, pumpkin pie...Mmm. Thanksgiving dinner is a good’er for sure. 

 I feel a little guilty for having thought that of Thanksgiving as just a really great meal (or two, or three depending on the year). This year was different though. I imagine it has a lot to do with living away from home for the first time. It’s made me really, truly appreciate my friends, and definitely my family. Growing up I never got along very well with my family. My brother was an annoying little twerp and my parents were a barrier in my teenage quest of rebellion. I made a point of distancing myself from them. Now that I am so far away from them I am realizing how much I appreciate them! It’s a strange thing I suppose, because of course you care for your family even if you do have some problems, but often times you don’t realize just how much. This goes for my extended family too. Family dinners were never really my thing. It meant a lot of being drilled about school or work or sitting in silence for a couple of hours, which as a teenager who thought she was pretty cool and important, I was not too down for. The last year or so that sentiment has completely changed as well, and now I’m more bummed if these gatherings aren’t held and I don’t get to catch up with my family. 

A new addition to my family’s Thanksgiving celebration is that of my cousins birthday! Little Maya turned two this year! Two may not be a very big number, but I still can’t believe how quickly the time has gone. We started off the day at Heritage Park. We spent a few hours there before heading home to cook (two apple pies and a butternut squash salad), and finally going to my grandparents house for dinner. It was really great to spend the day with family. I am definitely thankful.

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