Happy Thanksgiving Day Canada

A Harvard Health Publication coming out of psychology research from Harvard Medical School has concluded that “giving thanks and showing gratitude can make you happier”.

The word “gratitude” is derived from the Latin word “gratia” meaning grace, graciousness or gratefulness depending on the context.  Not only is gratitude strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness, it helps people feel more positive emotions.  It also helps people relish good experiences, improves our health, helps us deal with adversity, and forges strong relationships.

This is Thanksgiving Day weekend in Canada. Interesting enough, it is a day not celebrated globally.  In fact besides Canada and the United States there are only 4 other countries in the world that celebrate Thanksgiving in some form or another.

Unlike our wonderful American neighbours whose Thanksgiving roots go back to 1621 and the feast shared by the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people, Canada’s Thanksgiving European roots go back to Sir Martin Frobisher in 1578.  Frobisher was a British explorer who organized a meal for his crew when they (barely) made it to the Canadian shores alive.  And they were very thankful.  However the Indigenous Peoples in Canada have a history of celebrating the fall harvest that long predates the arrival of European settlers.

It was January 31, 1957 that Canadian parliament declared the 2nd Monday in October to be set aside to celebrate Thanksgiving Day in Canada with the following statement, “A day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed…to be observed on the 2nd Monday of October”

We are indeed so very blessed and indebted to Almighty God here in Canada.  Yet we really fall short in being grateful to God for all of His blessings.  There is a saying that goes like this, “What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday”.  Would we have anything?

Thankfulness is a really big deal in the Bible.   In fact it is one of the few specific things that we are told is God’s will for us. “Give thanks in all circumstances.  For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”. 1 Thessalonians 5:18.  Concepts of the word “Thanks” in the Bible come up 173 times. (102 times in the Old Testament and 71 times in the New Testament).

Whether you are reading this in Canada this Thanksgiving weekend or in another country that does not “officially” recognise Thanksgiving please remember to give thanks to God for ALL His blessings. “O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endured for ever”  Psalms 107:1

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