Roxanne Tellier: Giving Thanks

rox lolas May 2014 3

Yay! It’s Turkey Day! Actually, we celebrated on Saturday, so for me it’s just Fat Pants Day today, but what the heck. It’s the drumstick that counts.


Canadian Thanksgiving is so much better positioned than the American Thanksgiving. The ‘Merkuns celebrate on the fourth Thursday of November, while we saner Canucks chow down on the second Monday of October. That gives us Halloween as a speed bump before we get on the tilt-a-whirl that is the countdown to Christmas.

According to wiki, “the first Canadian Thanksgiving is often traced back to 1578 and the explorer Martin Frobisher. Frobisher, who had been trying to find a northern passage to the Pacific Ocean, held his Thanksgiving celebration not for harvest but in thanks for surviving the long journey from England through the perils of storms and icebergs. On his third and final voyage to the far north, Frobisher held a formal ceremony in Frobisher Bay in Baffin Island (present-day Nunavut) to give thanks to God and in a service ministered by the preacher Robert Wolfall they celebrated Communion.”

Frobisher thanksgiving

But we all like to think of Thanksgiving as a time to give thanks for the bounty of the harvest, and a nod to our farming roots. Over the centuries, immigrants arriving from Scotland, Ireland and Germany brought their own traditions to the celebration, and it wasn’t until the American Revolution, when United Empire Loyalists sought shelter in Canada, that the turkey was enshrined as the holiday’s centrepiece.

i came in like a butterball

And of course, we cannot forget how new Italian/Canadians brought their own tradition of the Spaghetti Harvest to our great land.

Because it’s all about the food, baby! The groaning board that begins with pickles, olives,  and hot dinner rolls (Pillsbury Crescent Rolls are a favourite for me) and carries on with mashed potatoes , roasted vegetables, cranberry sauce, stuffing and giblet gravy,  all but the preliminaries to the guest of honour, the roast turkey.

And when you’ve had your fill, and have moved your belt buckle over a notch, lo and behold, the desserts arrive – pumpkin or cherry or raspberry pie, carrot cake, ice cream …. Ahhh … life is good.

Food Glorious Food  (Oliver!) 

Well for some of us, anyway.

For many Canadians, there won`t be a festival of culinary delights, because they can`t afford the menu. Others may not have family or friends to share the day with. Still others may feel that there`s little to be thankful for, in our current economic and political maelstrom. And some may say, “but whom am I thanking, if I don’t believe in a religion or supreme being? Am I not just basically thanking myself?”

thanksgiving gratitude

My view is a little different. I’m happy to have a day designated for giving thanks. We’re an entitled bunch of gits, and having to stop and actually think about what’s good in our lives is rare; we’re far more likely to be complaining about what we don’t have. A day – or a long weekend – on which Canadians can all agree that they are blessed to live in a country which, because of or in spite of current leadership, allows us freedom in so many ways. We even rule in cheese, so take that, Switzerland.

I try to have an “attitude of gratitude” as the platitude goes. No matter what life brings, I try to remember that there are people on this planet who would kill to be in my shoes. Which is not to say that I don’t occasionally complain, but I do value what I have, and I thank those who make my life better, just by their presence and love.

When we neglect to require our children to say `thank you’ when someone gives them a gift or does something for them, we raise ungrateful children who are highly unlikely to be content. Without gratitude, happiness is rare. With gratitude, the odds for happiness go up dramatically. The more you recognize and express gratitude for the things you have, the more things you will have to express gratitude for.”                                                                   Zig Ziglar

grateful for everything

So, what are you grateful for in your life? I’m grateful for my husband, my children, my family and friends, who continue to love me despite my many, many quirks and odd behaviour. I’m grateful for the food in our pantry and the roof over our heads. I’m grateful that I’m getting older, because the alternative sucks. I’m grateful that I get to write this column every Sunday, and some of you actually read it and even discuss ideas with me, whether you agree or disagree with my points. I’m grateful that I’ve never lived in a country ravaged by war or pestilence or famine, and probably never will.

Little girl asleep in bed.I’m grateful when I lay my head down on the pillow at night, and know that the odds are good I’ll be waking up in the morning to another day filled with possibilities. I’m grateful for every bit of my life so far, and the wonders that still await my discovery. For as long as I am on this planet, I want to be cognizant of the beauty that is all around me, and never take for granted the gift that is existence.

Even when the going gets rough and it seems like there’s nowhere to go but down, it’s best to consider the good you have in your life, and be thankful. That small shift in thinking can put things into perspective.

Count Your Blessings – Bing Crosby

Never underestimate how important it is to have people in your life who are kind and loving and thoughtful. When all else fades away, love and kindness are the greatest gifts you can give or receive.

Thanksgiving Prayer – Johnny Cash

Thanksgiving Song – Mary Chapin Carpenter

There’s a reason why this song has over 52 million hits … the simple lyrics, and the joyful delivery remind us of the things that are most important in our lives.

What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong)

Have a wonderfilled Thanksgiving weekend, everyone, however you choose to celebrate.


Roxanne’s column appears here every Sunday 

Contact us at

DBAWIS ButtonRoxanne Tellier has been singing since she was 10 months old … no, really. Not like she’s telling anyone else how to live their lives, because she’s not judgmental, and most 10 month olds need a little more time to figure out how to hold a microphone. She has also been a vocalist with many acts, including Tangents, Lady, Performer, Mambo Jimi, and Delta Tango. In 2013 she co-hosted Bob Segarini’s podcast, The Bobcast, and, along with Bobert, will continue to seek out and destroy the people who cancelled ‘Bunheads’.


2 Responses to “Roxanne Tellier: Giving Thanks”

  1. Doug Thompson Says:

    Another excellent blog Roxie. Thanks.

  2. Love the column…thanks

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