Thursday, November 26, 2009

Christmas comes early in Canada due to early Thanksgiving

Holiday cookies on sale in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Photo by Sue Frause.
One thing I noticed during my two-week Great BIg Canadian Train Adventure was that Christmas seemed to arrive much earlier north of the 49th Parallel. No, I don't mean the weather (it was unseasonably warmish and sunny), but all the holiday hoopla in early November.

I spotted wreaths in Halifax and heard Christmas music in Montreal. And the lovely Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City was beautifully decorated for the winter holiday and even Santa Claus was in place.

So what's the big rush? Turns out that Canada doesn't have the buffer of Thanksgiving in November that we do in the states. They celebrate Thanksgiving on the second Monday in October, which means that in many places, holiday decorations and hints of Christmas begin appearing shortly after Halloween.

I spotted these Christmas cookies at Le Moulin de Provence in Ottawa's ByWard Market. The bakery became famous after President Barack Obama's visit earlier this year and created a huge increase in orders for its signature maple leaf cookies.

But now, it's time to celebrate Thanksgiving and the long weekend in the USA. Bon appetit to everybody celebrating our American holiday!