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Giving Thanks, Canadian Style

As a Canadian company with customers all over North America, one of Maple & Lather’s perks is getting the opportunity to celebrate Thanksgiving twice. While “American Thanksgiving” is still nearly two months away, we up north are dusting off recipes for pumpkin pie and making plans for small or virtual get togethers given the pandemic we’re navigating these days.

The roots of Canadian Thanksgiving run back almost four hundred and fifty years, when Sir Martin Frobisher gave thanks for safe arrival to what is now Nunavut, with a then-special meal of salt beef, biscuits, and mushy peas. I wonder what people five hundred years from now will make of our turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce ritual.

Whatever the food, and whomever the company, we’d like to offer some thoughts on why Canadians can be thankful in 2020.

Our Canadian Authors

When my children ask me, how long we’re going to be in this period of social distancing and uncertainty, I think of the well-known quote, “nothing very very good and nothing very very bad ever lasts for very very long”.  It’s so true, and we can thank a Canadian author, Douglas Coupland for coining it.

Canadian authors have long been something to be thankful for. They’ve continually put Canada on the world stage, and projected our own culture of tolerance, introspection, multiculturalism, open attitudes and expressiveness.    My childhood and adult life have been made richer with books from national treasures like Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro, Laurence Hill, Michael Ondaatje, Farley Mowat and Mordechai Richler.  This Thanksgiving, with more time to ourselves, let’s show our thanks by supporting Canadian authors and reading up on something from them.

Our Room to Roam

It’s well known that Canada’s got a lot of space. There are many ways to quantify it (11 people per square mile is my favorite), but the quality of that space is why I’m grateful. No matter where you live, you can jump in your car, hop on your bike or just wander out for a walk and experience something special. It’s a land with four seasons, streaming rivers and lakes, snow capped mountains and long plains as far as the eye can see.

At a time when some of us might be feeling a little boxed in, let’s not take for granted that there are places in the world that can’t match the diversity and breadth of our country. Although there’s always room to improve, we should also be thankful of the importance placed on conserving and protecting our national parks and designating recreational spaces.

This weekend, our family will have a wonderful Thanksgiving hike through a beautiful part of the Niagara escarpment, and we are truly blessed to have it accessible and available to enjoy.

Our Rights and Freedoms

Canadians have been known for having an inferiority complex.   Perhaps it stems from growing up in the shadow of the world’s most powerful economy.  Whatever the reason, this innate humility doesn’t mean we aren’t proud of the society we live in.  We enjoy freedoms and rights across gender, race and lifestyle, with a vibrant democracy and a strong social conscience that reflects upon its mistakes and tries to move forward with progress.

There are still many things we need to address and amend here at home, but as individuals, if we internalize who we want to be as a nation, we will continue to make progress and have an amazing country that make us grateful.

And, Most Importantly…

As calendar pages turn, and Thanksgivings come-and-go, I hope and believe that Canada will continue to be a place where we have much to be thankful for.  As this specific Thanksgiving comes and goes, we should all add a little extra thanks to our front-line workers across all walks of life, who are making sure that this holiday can be a little more like the ones before it.

Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving from the M&L Team!

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