Canadian Friendsgiving: A tradition

We have been a part of a group of friends who has had the tradition of doing “Canadian Thanksgiving” as a sort of Friendsgiving each year. Around the time of Canadian Thanksgiving we get our friends together for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. For us it really launches our holiday season.

We joined the tradition a year after it started in 2009. This year I am helping host! When we solidified the idea we only had a short while until the date we had selected. I shot out a save the date (using an application on my phone that I absolutely love called RedStamp). Then put these together for friends and got them out right away. Each invitation included a real colored leaf. Behind it was a small insert letting families know we would go on a local pumpkin walk after dinner and then the invitation was just made with some scrapbook paper I had, and I cut out a leaf shaped sponge stamp. Tied with a bit of twine, I love how these turned out!
One of the host families usually provides the turkey (I get to help with the roasting and use a fantastic recipe I’ll be sharing soon!) and then each family brings a side dish or two to make sure we get things in all categories and so that everyone gets plenty to eat. We also try to divy up leftovers so that we can all go home with a variety.

I’m hoping to make rolls, cranberry chutney, and may fill in any other gaps I see. (I also got to make my favorite sweet potatoe recipe!) 

This tradition has become dear to my heart as we see our friends as our family. We are blessed to live near family, and what a blessing it is. However, it does mean that our holidays fill up fast and often I find myself wishing we could spend more time with friends, especially those who don’t have family living near. Our Canadian Thanksgiving celebration is a way for us to do that. Plus it really kicks off the holiday season with a bang!

Adding kids into the mix has really changed and enhanced this festive and special day!  This year a friend brought placemats they could color – so fun!

It is so special to share with friends who are family that you are thankful FOR THEM!  And to share all the other blessings you are grateful for this year.

The addition of the pumpkin walk after dinner was a fun one! Definitely worth repeating. Our little man wore his costume and walked most of the way. Which resulted in 16+ hours of sleep in a 24 hour window.  I won’t argue with that!

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