thanksgiving

OUR FIRST CANADIAN THANKSGIVING

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.



UNDERSTANDING THANKSGIVING

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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

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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

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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:

  1. Turkey Tenderloins (without the Dijon mustard though)
  2. Coconut jollof rice
  3. Black eyed peas
  4. Corn on the cob
  5. Mashed sweet potatoes (my son would love this!)
  6. Baked sweet potato sticks
  7. Spicy roasted turkey salad (Nigerians love spicy food)
  8. Apple and cranberry juice
  9. Oatmeal cookies with frozen yoghurt

 

THANKSGIVING ACTIVITIES

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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.

 

Canadian Museum of History

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.

 

MosaïCanada 150/Gatineau 2017

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!

 

Proulx Farm

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!



Saunders Farm

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!

 

Mrs. O



10 thoughts on “OUR FIRST CANADIAN THANKSGIVING

  1. I love the spirit. There’s much to be thankful for. I’ll need some good advice (in terms of province, ease of getting a PR, …)from you about emigrating to Canada based on your immigration process experience. I’m a Control Systems Engineer from Nigeria looking towards emigrating to Canada.

    1. Hi Nike,

      I studied Control Systems in the university! But please do not ask me any question about that lol! I have been an investment banker for the last 7 years! Any question you have, please feel free to drop it in the comment section or shoot me a mail here

  2. Hello Mrs O! Happy thanksgiving 😊, have you received your PR cards? If you haven’t how will Mr. O get his card. My husband will be doing short landing and I’m worried about mailing it to him, that’s why I ask. Thanks

    1. Hi Chi Chi,

      Long time! We were told during our landing process by the immigration officer that the wait period for OR card was 3 months. However, we noticed that this has since changed to 60 days on their website….or was it 6 weeks?

      Anyway, Mr. O told the officer of his intentions to go back home a month after landing. We were told that he should simply apply for another visa to come in. We asked a few of his friends who had gone through the same thing and they said it was pretty straightforward. The wait time for the visa is about 2 weeks. And the embassy is in Lagos – Victoria Island. So this is what he intends to do.

      1. Wow thank you so much, I had been asking around and no one I knew had gone through the visa route. Good to know people have done it. Feel so relieved.

        I’m taking down notes for the home schooling, well done.

        Hope you feel better soon.

        1. I know what you mean. We were quite confused initially when we heard the 3 month wait period for our PR cards. But once Mr. O called up two of his friends who told him they had gotten visas easily, we felt much better. And it makes sense that the visa process should be straightforward. The Canadian government is not seeking to either trap us in or out of Canada. Instead, we are allowed to shuttle between our “home country” and our “adopted country” until we decide where we want to be based, or forever if we choose to do so. The only issue may arise during citizenship qualification when the time spent in Canada over the last 5 years will determine our eligibility or otherwise.

  3. you got me laughing @ 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!”.

    Do go and have fun, there will be an opportunity to learn something about your new environment.

    1. Hahahahahaha! We may just well do so, if I feel up to it. Been slightly under the weather and feeling tired 🙁

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