Hello everyone and Happy Thanksgiving! Well, Thanksgiving is not until Monday officially, but the Thanksgiving weekend started today, Saturday. The weather in Ottawa today was wet and miserable, so we stayed indoors all day.
HOW WE SPENT OUR SATURDAY
In the spirit of the holiday, I allowed my son to have a YouTube marathon on his iPad 🙂 It was nice for him to take a break from school work and the serious stuff for a whole day. However, we did a DIY spider craft, as well as a turtle one using pipe cleaners. I hope to share some of these with you guys later.
We also had the big reveal for our ‘shell-less raw egg‘ which surprisingly will live to see another day. Lol! This egg has now lived outside the jar for much longer than its predecessor.
As a new immigrant in Canada, I am having to do a lot of reading up on the history of Thanksgiving. More importantly, I want to be able to teach my son about the history and importance of this annual holiday. The core of our learning will be centered around an attitude and heart of thanksgiving. God willing, we will start this lesson tomorrow.
You see, before joining in all the celebration, I think that it is nice to stop and think about what we are celebrating and why. For me, it is like eating lots of food at Christmas and not knowing that we are doing so in celebration of the wonderful gift of Christ.
Or like celebrating Easter, ignorant of its significance as the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the promise of eternal life to all Christians.
I had always had a general idea about what the holiday was about thanks to its name, but I had never read up on it. Through my research, I have learnt that Thanksgiving is a “Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed.” The celebration has been in existence since the 16th century, according to some historians.
WE HAVE A LOT TO BE THANKFUL FOR
Till today, I was sort of dreading this holiday. Holidays are a time for families to be together, and unfortunately, mine isn’t – Mr. O is in Nigeria at the moment. But doing this research helped me focus on the significance of the holiday, rather than the celebrations.
So, even though I honestly would much rather that Mr. O was with us during this holiday, I know that we have so much to be thankful for. Firstly, we are oh so grateful for the grace for new experiences and traditions.
We are also thankful that we took this decision to emigrate to Canada, and extremely grateful to Canada for welcoming us with open arms and for giving us this opportunity to settle, explore, grow and thrive. Most of all, we are thankful for good health for ourselves and for our family back home in Nigeria.
OUR THANKSGIVING MENU
Now, this is where I am quite stomped. I really want to get in on the Thanksgiving spirit and cook a Thanksgiving meal. But my son and I are such picky eaters. Also, I am so weird with meat that I often joke that I should have been a vegetarian as I cannot bear the sight of a whole dead animal anywhere, let alone on my dining table!
By the way, I love turkey, chicken, beef, fish etc, but only when they have been cut up into pieces! I know what you are thinking, I already admitted to being weird earlier 🙂
Once again, I have scoured the web for Thanksgiving meals that we can incorporate into our dinner on Monday. I am mindful of the fact that it will be just my son and I eating and I want to avoid any waste. We will also be using mostly food items that we already have in the house.
Here’s what our menu will be:
- Turkey Tenderloins (without the Dijon mustard though)
- Coconut jollof rice
- Black eyed peas
- Corn on the cob
- Mashed sweet potatoes (my son would love this!)
- Baked sweet potato sticks
- Spicy roasted turkey salad (Nigerians love spicy food)
- Apple and cranberry juice
- Oatmeal cookies with frozen yoghurt
In addition to our Thanksgiving dinner, I thought it would be nice for us to spend the holiday touring Ottawa a little bit. So on Sunday and/or Monday, we intend to visit at least 2 places in Ottawa and get in on the Thanksgiving fun.
OUR TOP 4 PICKS
After doing some lengthy research, we have narrowed down our options to the following 4 places. Of course, a key consideration is the fact that my son and I will be hanging out together. So, I have chosen activities that are either family-oriented or for kids.
Why we love it: This Ottawa attraction is very highly rated by travelers from around the world. Lots of fun activities for kids and adults too. Caters to kids from 2 years and up. Arts and craft for kids including making a Halloween handmade garland. It is super close to us – barely a 15 minute drive.
How much: $20 per adult, $12 per child
Why we may not go: The tickets are quite pricey in my opinion.
Why we love it: It is free, lol. Very good reviews. Opportunity to take lots of beautiful pictures of nature. My son loves plants and flowers so he should be excited by the floral sculptures. It is also quite close to where we live.
How much: Free
Why we may not go: Umm….I am Nigerian. Can I leave my house just to go and see plants and flowers? Do the flowers talk and dance also? Lol!
Why we love it: Okay reviews. Face painting, tree house and slides, play parks and children’s show! Did I mention the wagon ride and petting zoo? We love everything they have to offer. The tickets are decently priced too
How much: $13.50 per adult, $11.50 per child
Why we may not go: Only the weather can stop us!
Why we love it: Good reviews, lots of activities for young kids. Play in the hay, fun mazes to work through with your kids.
How much: $19.50 per person
Why we may not go: Price and distance
Check out more tips on how to spend Thanksgiving on this amazing blog – Savy Mom.
While researching, I came across this Nova Scotia initiative where Canadian residents can sign up to be a host to new students or immigrants in their community! Such a nice gesture! I am sure they have this in a few other provinces, but I did not do extensive research on this topic. Canadians are truly the nicest people.
Please leave your feedback in the comments section. What are you most thankful for this year? Will you be celebrating thanksgiving this year, and with who?
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!