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The Harvest Holiday


We are currently in my favorite season: fall, autumn, the harvest...whatever you want to call it, I adore it! The foods (apples, squash, all root veggies...), the sights (leaves changing colours), the smells, and sounds.

We always celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving in our home. Though my family is from the U.S., they quickly adopted the Canadian holiday, which takes place in the midst of this heavenly (and short) season here, rather than at the end of November as they do down south. It certainly seems to make more sense to celebrate the harvest during the harvest, not after it!

When Adam and I travelled to Chicago back in 2008, we did so over the American Thanksgiving weekend. What a mistake! Not only was the travel a nightmare (hello 5 hour delay in O'Hare!), but the weather was awful and there was a major snowstorm that shut down the city and the airport. That was not fun, nor was Chicago an attractive place that time of year!!

Despite my love of Thanksgiving, Adam and I haven't really celebrated it. You see, Adam's family never celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving. What? Unbeknownst to me, a lot of Canadian Jews think of it as a Christian holiday. This is very different from the U.S., where it is recognized as a non-denominational holiday. For a while I really missed it, and even a number of years ago did a traditional dinner here, when my parents were visiting, with a big turkey and the whole kit and caboodle. But more recently I realized I lost my taste for the whole traditional meal. Why? I have no idea!

It just so happens that this year my parents are visiting again, and we now have our lovely renovated house to show off, so I decided it was time to host another dinner. But this time, I decided to break tradition and do something a little different.

You may recall that we've decided to discontinue hosting our New Year's Day party. This is mostly because I have come to hate formal hosting. I just find it too stressful. So for this occasion, it being only close family anyways (my parents and my brother and his family), I decided to keep it simple so I can enjoy myself. Here is the plan:

Kids - Ordering pizza for them and turning on the Wii. Dessert is ice cream and fruit [Ultimate goal is to minimize whining and keep them all out of our hair as much as possible].

Adults - Thanksgiving chili (made with ground turkey, sweet potatoes, cranberries and other goodies), salad, peach-jalapeno cornbread muffins, and pumpkin spice cheesecake and fruit compote for dessert.

The weather is supposed to be my favorite: sunny and mild (~16 Celsius). So I am hoping maybe Monday afternoon, we can get the girls outside maybe to one of the local farms or conservation areas.

Whether you are celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving or not, have a wonderful weekend!

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