Discovering Life, Learning and Leadership

This weekend, people across Canada are celebrating Thanksgiving Day and, in a few weeks, our friends in the USA will be observing Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November.

Thanksgiving is a great time to pause and reflect on how blessed we are, to spend time with family and friends and to reflect on what is important in life.  The older I get, the more I realize just how much I have to be thankful for.

Our family has always enjoyed celebrating Thanksgiving and since Creation Technologies expanded into the USA a number of years ago, I like to celebrate both Canadian and American Thanksgiving.  Some think it is because I love Thanksgiving Turkey Dinners (which is true) but it is also because we have lots to be thankful for. 

My wife Judy has been busy this week preparing for our Thanksgiving dinner and we are all getting very excited about spending the weekend with family and friends. A few days ago over dinner, as Judy was describing our upcoming Thanksgiving dinner menu, my mouth was watering. I know it sounds weird to be getting excited about dinner while eating dinner, but hey, this is a special event.

While Thanksgiving is important in Canada, the tradition actually started in the US.  For years I thought that the first Thanksgiving celebration was held in 1621 by the pilgrims in Plymouth.  According to Wikipedia:

  • … the first recorded Thanksgiving ceremony took place on September 8, 1565, when 600 Spanish settlers, under the leadership of Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, landed at what is now St. Augustine, Florida, and immediately held a Mass of Thanksgiving for their safe delivery to the New World; there followed a feast and celebration.
  • El Paso, Texas, has also been said to be the site of the first Thanksgiving to be held in what is now known as the United States, though that was not a harvest festival.  Spaniard Don Juan de Oñate ordered his expedition party to rest and conducted a mass in celebration of thanksgiving on April 30, 1598.
  • On December 4, 1619, 38 English settlers arrived at Berkeley Hundred, … upstream from Jamestown, where the first permanent settlement of the Colony of Virginia had been established on May 14, 1607.  The group’s charter required that the day of arrival be observed yearly as a “day of thanksgiving” to God.

One of our Creation team members also shared some American history that noted:

  • In 1777 Congress appointing a committee of three that included Samuel Adams, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia and Daniel Roberdeau of Pennsylvania, who drafted a resolution that declared Thursday, December 18, 1777 as “a day of Thanksgiving” to God, so that “with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts, and consecrate themselves to the service of their divine benefactor.”
  • It was the first of many Thanksgivings ordered up by Samuel Adams.
  • Though the holidays were almost always in November or December, the exact dates varied (Congress didn’t fix Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday in November until 1941).

Regardless of when it actually started, Thanksgiving is a great celebration!

Canadian Thanksgiving is earlier than US Thanksgiving as being further north the harvest is earlier in Canada.  In 1957, (years before I was born, well, at least a few years before I was born), the Parliament of the Government of Canada officially proclaimed the observance of Thanksgiving Day, declaring it:

“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 in October.”

The previous leaders of Canada (and before that in the USA) have given all of us a special gift.  Thanksgiving is not just another holiday, it is an annual reminder to set our problems aside and to enjoy being grateful for our many blessings.

Some researchers estimate that only about 10% of people are really thankful. This number seems so low, yet at times I feel that I am in the 90% that should be more thankful. 

In one of my 2008 Arthur’s Update emails to our Creation team, I included some of the above information and asked “What are you thankful for?” In response I received several emails with comments such as:

  • “I have been blessed with two good sons, whom I am very proud of”
  • “I have a new bride … Yes, I am very happy and thankful”
  • “I am thankful to be a part of the Creation team”
  • From a team member in China, “… although we don’t have Turkey dinner here, we should be thankful for all the good things we have”
  • “I, too, am a great fan of turkey dinners!!!”
  • “I believe that we all have much to be thankful for, especially being lucky enough to have been born and or now living in either Canada or the United States.”
  • “the personal freedom to pursue whatever your dreams are and to have the opportunity to make them successful, is a blessing”
  • “I (would) just like to share these verses in thanking our God Almighty, Psalm 100
  • “On my drive to work today, I was reflecting on this day and how thankful I am for working for a company that upholds good values and cares”

Personally, I echo many of the comments above and am particularly thankful for my wife, our three wonderful children, family and friends, a great team of people to work with, health and strength, the Bible, salvation and the Lord’s many blessings in my life.

We will be enjoying our family Thanksgiving Dinner tomorrow, which is a bit earlier than usual. Judy is already defrosting the turkey and making preparations. She has been decorating our place which is looking very “thanksgiving-ish” (I know that’s not a word).

What are you thankful for? I invite you to share your comments below. Happy Thanksgiving!

19 Comments to Happy Thanksgiving

  1. Elena Leyva's Gravatar Elena Leyva
    Oct 7, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    I’m thankful being a part QA team of Creation Technologies.Wishing all the best.

  2. Alexander Tymos's Gravatar Alexander Tymos
    Oct 7, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Good work Arthur, I enjoyed reading this.

  3. Jay Medina's Gravatar Jay Medina
    Oct 8, 2011 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    I am thankful that GOD has given me a wonderful family and friends.
    I am also thankful for being able to support my family. Working 45 years and working 24 of those years at Creation.

  4. Kathy Young's Gravatar Kathy Young
    Oct 10, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    I have much to be thankful for.
    – my mother, who ingrained in me a sense of adventure and a love of nature
    – my father, who taught me to pursue my artistic side regardless of what others thought of my art
    – my siblings, who have overcome a great deal to become successful in their lives
    – my husband, who encourages me to live my dreams
    – my career at Creation, where I am privileged to work with some amazing and talented people

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, Arthur!

  5. Cindy Young's Gravatar Cindy Young
    Oct 11, 2011 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It is not just because of the delicious food we prepare, although I am thankful for the bounty and ability to purchase and prepare such good food. It isn’t just the getting together with family which is always important and special to me.

    The reason that this is my favorite holiday is because the focus of this day is “giving thanks”. And, besides the anticipated turkey, there are no other modern traditions like Santa Claus, gifts, Easter Bunny and such to distract from the reason we celebrate Thanksgiving Day.

    I thank my God every day for so many things, even for the things that at first glance may not seem “good”. How special is it to have two nations set aside a day specifically to be thankful!

  6. Dottie Dirksen NPI's Gravatar Dottie Dirksen NPI
    Oct 17, 2011 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    I am thankfull that my family is able to spend the day together. All 54 of us! We meet at my mom’s home and everyone pitches in to help make the Thanksgiving meal memorable. We are really blessed that we get along so well, as I know there are many families that don’t. Easter and Christmas are the same type of gathering celebrated with traditional foods (and at Christmas a birthday cake for Jesus).

  7. sheree rogers npi's Gravatar sheree rogers npi
    Oct 17, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    I am thankful for my family and friends. I am thankful that we all can get together and share stories of thanksgiving past. I am thankful to have a job . It is a day to be thankful that we all have health and happiness.

  8. Pat Ciriacks's Gravatar Pat Ciriacks
    Nov 27, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Permalink


    It’s difficult for me to think of something for which I’m not thankful. My “short list”:
    – My faith and the freedom to practice it.
    – My wife, Kelly, children, Kevin & Jenny, grandson, Kolbe, daughter-in-law, April
    – My parents, parents-in-law, siblings, relatives, friends, business associates
    – Living in a time and place where life expectancy, due to hygiene and technology, will (Lord willing :-)) allow me sufficient time to make mistakes and learn from them
    – You, Geoff Reed, Mike Walsh and Dave Pettigrew for having the courage of your convictions in making the Milwaukee BU your first acquisition on June 30, 2003
    – My health and good fortune to love what I do every day.

  9. Joy Booker's Gravatar Joy Booker
    Nov 28, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    This past weekend I enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family. Before we dove into the Thanksgiving feast, we all sat together around the table, each sharing what we are thankful for. I was inspired as I listened to all the blessings each had openly shared.

    I am so thankful for my family and friends: My wonderful mother and grandmother who have both lived by an example of virtue. My smart, ambitious and caring daughter who God blessed me with 16 years ago. My silly nieces, who’s lighthearted joy and laughter make me smile. My wonderful job that provides for myself and my daughter. And my faith in the Lord that continues to carry me through life’s ups and downs. I am blessed! Thank you Arthur for your leadership!

  10. Michal Eliel's Gravatar Michal Eliel
    Nov 22, 2012 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Happy Thanksgiving from all Galtronics Team !

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Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love.
– Mother Theresa