Turkey Coma

Happy (belated) Canadian Thanksgiving! By the time you read this post, you should be recovering from a “turkey coma” and eating leftovers! We had ham this year, but I have a turkey sitting in my deep freezer for an occasion when I feel the need. So, it got me thinking… why turkey? What fun facts can I learn from such poultry? Who discovered it? And why did God let such a darling bird grow into a grumpy, yet impressive thing? If you’ve been following mittonmusings for any length of time, you know my fascination with chickens… but turkeys could be on a whole other plain. Toms are mean! They will (and have) attacked people. The babies are cute, though…

Baby turkeys are cute!

The male (tom) turkey is the only one that “gobbles”. Allegedly, the girls make a “purring” noise when they are content. Who knew? The females are more like chickens… and I can’t argue with the fact that God made them quite beautiful. In fact, turkeys were once bred for their colourful plumage — not their meat. And an impressive plumage it is: an adult turkey can have 5-6 thousand feathers! Think about that next time you find a stray fluff on your dinner… imagine the Pilgrims plucking those things by hand?!

Now. Back to “Turkey”. How did they get such a name? Apparently, the Spaniards first discovered them in Mexico in the sixteenth century and took them back to Spain as part of their discovery spoils. Eventually, the gobblers made their way to England around 1541 and were given the “exotic” name of an export associated with the Turks. (A “Turkish hen”) Confusion? Yup.

Not from Turkey

Still, the birds sure tasted good, and so became a staple eat. Especially at Thanksgiving. We have the Americans to blame for that one. Roasted turkey became a traditional dish after the American revolution when the British loyalists fled to Canada as refugees and brought the meal with them. And so it stays. 39% of the total sales of Canadian turkeys in 2018 were set aside for Thanksgiving dinner. However, Christmas sales totalled 2.7 million birds: 42% of the total year’s sales. A second in the holiday stats? Do we love Christmas turkey more? Maybe only in Canada.

Canadian Thanksgiving, for those of you not from around here, does differ slightly from our neighbours to the south. Not only in our choice of dates, but our holiday involves less football, there’s no big parade, and certainly no black Friday shopping. We get less time off and we tend to focus on the three F’s: food, friends/family and fellowship! Turkey or no turkey.

In fact, our Canadian Thanksgiving is more associated with the harvest season. In 1859, the ministers tried to ask the colonial government to initiate the holiday of Thanksgiving to “thank God for His existence — evident by His bountiful Harvest granted to His people” (a little different from the focus of our American counterparts).

And harvest can be a beautiful time. The weather is great, the colours are fabulous, and the food is plentiful! A perfect excuse for a holiday! Although, I did muse as we drove through the colourful tree-lined roads this weekend: What beauty is in death… the fall colours are really a bunch of tree leaves dying and preparing for a long, hard winter. Sorry, I digress.

Thanksgiving turkeys. Whether you like a stuffed bird or not, the holiday should be about more than the food. Thanks – giving. God reminded His people to celebrate, and celebrate often, in remembrance of all He has done for us! Especially now. In this world so full of despair and darkness, our attitude of gratitude should be all that more evident. I am trying to remember this every time I look at my grocery bill! Thank you, Lord, that I am able to provide for my family. Many are finding it increasingly difficult these days. Is it just me, or are prices going up all around us? But this is a muse for another day. Perhaps, I do need to think about having a few turkeys in my flock of someday-hope-to-have-chickens. I’ll start with the cute little ones.

Blessings and Gratitude

We’ve just finished Canadian Thanksgiving. And this year, despite our strange times of isolation and social distancing, we still have a responsibility to continue to love our neighbours and be thankful for the blessings God gives us. Perhaps you’ve been aware of the special people in your life more because you cannot see them as frequently as before. Perhaps you have been in need of more encouragement because you have been the one feeling isolated. In any case, I have been blessed by the words, and the promise given in Psalm 23 that

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Did you realize that is a promise?!

I thought I would add in a little throwback to an email from our 30 Days of Blessings campaign, that many of you completed some time ago. If you did it once…. do it again! If you were not part of our exercise back then, why not try it out this Thanksgiving?

Happy Thanksgiving and be Blessed!!

The Blessing of Thankfulness

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!! For those of us who are turkey overloaded and too stuffed to work, I thought I would “repost” one of our 30 Days of Blessings emails from last year! It is always a great idea to say thank you, so let’s do it again!

(For those of you who are new to the mittonmusings adventure, we ran a fun 30 days of emails last year, prompting us to a new “blessing” each day! Should we do it again?! Should we try another one?! Wanna get in on the action?! Subscribe to mittonmusings and get a weekly blog post straight to your inbox — and special invitations to campaigns and studies just like this one! Join the adventure here! )

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! Say also: ‘Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather and deliver us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise.”  1 Chronicles 16:34-35 (ESV)

 Remember that list of Blessings we made back on Day 2?  Time to pull it out and send some thank you’s to the people on it.  Often we are truly thankful for our friends and family… but we don’t show it in tangible ways.  Send a card (or flowers?) to a person to simply say “thank you” for the influence they are having in your life.  Maybe take them out for dinner.  The how is up to you… but be sure to include the reason why: to say thanks!  This is also a good way to be an example for our children.  Remind them to be thankful as well, by showing them how!

This is also the perfect opportunity to spend some time saying thanks to God for all your blessings.  He is called Jehovah-jireh in Hebrew:  the one who provides.  Spend a few minutes giving Him thanks today.  

  • Challenge yourself to think of obscure or difficult people to be thankful for… like government leaders or your boss, or that person on your “hard to love” list
  • Write some old fashion thank you cards and actually put them in the mail with a stamp!
  • Share ideas with family and friends… get the kids involved or post your thanks on the group chat so everyone can see
  • If you are joining us in October, send a special thank you to your church leader for #pastorappreciationmonth
  • Can you think of another fun and fabulous way to thank someone?
  • Remember to take a few special minutes to thank your Heavenly provider as well

“Now may the LORD show steadfast love and faithfulness to you. And I will do good to you because you have done this thing.” 2 Samuel 2:6 (ESV)