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Let the holiday season begin, depending on your concept of timing

Now that Remembrance Day has come and passed, the countdown to the year’s biggest holiday is officially on – only nine days remain until American Thanksgiving.

Now that Remembrance Day has come and passed, the countdown to the year’s biggest holiday is officially on – only nine days remain until American Thanksgiving.

You didn’t think I was talking about that holiday in late December that is still more than five weeks away, did you?

Judging from the inundation of Christmas-themed advertising, the number of upcoming craft shows, as well as the long-term weather forecast, most of you did. And that’s OK.

It’s my favourite time of the year too, with my birthday, the Seinfeld-holiday Festivus, the World Juniors and New Year’s Eve, but it’s still a ways off.

American Thanksgiving is next week – and it doesn’t matter if you’re not from the United States. You don’t have to be to enjoy it.

For the sports fan, there is an NFL triple-header on TV on Nov. 24, college football galore a day later and daytime NHL games (reminder to fantasy team owners).

For the shopping fan, the majority of the Black Friday deals from American retailers on Nov. 25 (the same ones that people scurry to at 3 a.m. down south) are available online in Canada.

Paying the shipping and handling seems like a better option than waiting in line at the border crossing twice, as well as enduring the endless queues at the actual stores.

Having said that, I’m actually going to be travelling into the U.S. that weekend – but not for shopping purposes.

A pair of friends and myself are heading to Seattle after having secured tickets to college football’s Apple Cup (the in-state rivalry between the University of Washington and Washington State University) and a Seattle Seahawks-Washington Redskins NFL game the following day.

The timing was pure coincidence, but it did get me thinking about the benefits of having Thanksgiving in late November rather than mid-October.

Having a proper holiday in November (as Remembrance Day is and should always remain a commemoration day, rather than part of a long weekend) would close the two-month gap between Thanksgiving’s current timing and that of the December holiday season.

It would be a nice break during the tough seasonal transition and help us adapt to the early sunsets after Daylight Savings Time.

November is also closer to the traditional holiday season a month later and everybody observes Thanksgiving, as it doesn’t carry any religious aspects (the celebrating of harvest in Canada and the landing of the Pilgrims in the United States).

Christmas is obviously a religious holiday and isn’t celebrated by large percentages of the population.

This is the main reason why Thanksgiving is the biggest travel weekend in the U.S. every year.

Now, I’m not anywhere near anti-Canadian, except of course for my feelings about the CFL and Nickelback (which makes the timing of this trip perfect, as I’ll “miss” the Grey Cup and it’s awful halftime show on Nov. 27).

I’m very pro-Canadian; I just like to travel and experience other cultures as well. And I happen to think our neighbours (without the ‘u’) down south have things right in this case.

They get the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off. We only get a Monday off.

We need an actual November holiday in Canada, much like we need permanent ones in June, February and August (the old Family Day versus Heritage Day debate amongst employers on which one they will give you off), as well as one in March or April when Easter is early or late.

Having an extra day or days off to travel, eat turkey leftovers or watch football wouldn’t hurt either.

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