This weekend is Thanksgiving in Canada. A time to reflect on the past year and to truly be grateful for what we have and what we have endured. 2020 has been a tough year for so many and to you I want to say I am truly saddened by the stories I have heard about the difficulties you have gone through.
When I separated from my first husband many years ago my children were still young. For many years after that, different celebrations throughout the year were tough for us as we were no longer the family unit we once were. Family get-togethers were always difficult. Christmas was especially hard as we used to do so much together before Christmas: Baking cookies, painting wooden Christmas ornaments, watching Christmas movies with popcorn, cutting down our own Christmas tree…these were all part of our traditions and now it was gone.
As my children grew, my oldest and I were talking one day about how we just wish we could get away so it didn’t seem quite so bad. One of us said we should go to snow. It was then suggested we drive to the top of the Coquihalla Hwy. From there an idea was born. My family is from Europe so we had our turkey dinner on Christmas Eve. After those festivities were done we made up sandwiches for the next day. I also made homemade cinnamon buns with cream cheese frosting. We boxed up Christmas ornaments, blankets, boots, mittens, hats, scarves and the presents.
Very early Christmas morning we got up, packed up the car and drove to the top of the Coquihalla where there is a rest stop. Once there we decorated a pine tree with the Christmas ornaments then wrapped up in our blankets and proceeded to open our gifts to one another. Much hilarity was had as we tried to open our presents with our teeth since it was too cold to want to take off our mittens! We then ate our turkey sandwiches and cinnamon buns. We had such a fun time and the memories will last forever. It wasn’t about the presents but rather being present in the moment.
My point to this story is that being thankful can take many forms. We were mourning the loss of the wonderful Christmas memories we once had and replaced it with new memories that were unconventional and unforgettable.
I hope the one take-away you read today is that I hope you can find a new way to truly be thankful this year. No matter how big or how small.