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Ah, Canadian Thanksgiving Celebration - a time for gratitude, delicious feasts, and cozy gatherings. In Canada, this special occasion falls on the second Monday of October, marking a time to reflect upon the harvest and blessings of the past year.

While many of us associate Thanksgiving with intimate family dinners and traditional festivities, why not extend this spirit of gratitude and togetherness to our workplace?

After all, we spend a significant portion of our lives with our colleagues, making it an opportune moment to strengthen bonds and infuse the office atmosphere with positivity.

Recognizing the importance of workplace camaraderie, and the unique spin that Canada puts on this age-old holiday, we've curated a list of 30 Canadian Thanksgiving celebration ideas and activities tailored just for the workplace.

From potlucks featuring time-honored Canadian dishes to collaborative gratitude projects, these ideas promise not only to bring everyone closer but also to create lasting memories.

So, whether you're a manager aiming to boost team morale or an employee looking to bring a touch of festive warmth to your office, read on and get inspired!

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This Canadian Thanksgiving, go beyond the traditional and offer your employees a token of your gratitude that truly resonates with them. 🌟 Digital gift cards are the perfect way to express your appreciation, allowing your team members to choose their own meaningful rewards.

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When is Canadian Thanksgiving and why?

Canadian Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October each year. This year it will be celebrated on 9th October 2023.

Unlike its American counterpart, which is celebrated in November and has historical roots related to the Pilgrims and their first harvest feast in the New World, the Canadian Thanksgiving has a different origin.

The history of Canadian Thanksgiving traces back to various occasions:

  • Early celebrations: The very first Thanksgiving celebration in North America took place in Canada when Martin Frobisher, an English explorer, arrived in Newfoundland in 1578. He wanted to give thanks for his safe arrival to the New World, so a meal was held to express gratitude.
  • Harvest festival: Much like other Thanksgiving celebrations around the world, the Canadian version is also deeply rooted in the tradition of celebrating the harvest and blessings of the past year. With Canada's colder climate and earlier harvest season compared to its southern neighbor, an earlier Thanksgiving celebration was a logical fit.
  • Formal recognition: Over the centuries, various dates were used for Thanksgiving, with many aligning with significant events. It wasn't until January 31, 1957, that the Canadian Parliament proclaimed: "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."

10 Canadian Thanksgiving office celebration ideas

Here are 10 Canadian Thanksgiving office celebration ideas:

1. Potluck lunch

Organize a potluck lunch where employees can showcase their culinary skills by bringing in dishes that are meaningful to them.

Encourage a diverse spread by suggesting that participants share the story behind their chosen dish. This not only celebrates different traditions but also provides an opportunity for team members to learn more about each other.

2. Thanksgiving decoration contest

Spice up the office atmosphere with a Thanksgiving decoration contest. Encourage teams or individuals to decorate their workspaces in a festive manner.

This can include fall colors, Thanksgiving-themed artwork, and even a small prize for the most creatively decorated space. It's a great way to infuse the office with holiday spirit.

3. Gratitude board

Set up a gratitude board in a common area where employees can express their thanks.

Provide sticky notes or a whiteboard where team members can write down what they are thankful for, whether it's related to work, colleagues, or personal life. This creates a positive and uplifting environment, fostering a culture of appreciation.

4. Storytelling circle

Create a Thanksgiving storytelling circle where employees have the opportunity to share personal stories or memories related to gratitude and thankfulness.

This could include anecdotes about meaningful experiences, encounters with kindness, or reflections on what they appreciate about their colleagues. It's a heartwarming way to connect on a personal level and deepen the sense of community.

5. Thanksgiving trivia

Create a Thanksgiving-themed trivia game that employees can participate in during breaks or lunchtime.

Include questions about the history of Canadian Thanksgiving, traditional foods, and cultural aspects. This not only educates the team but also adds an element of fun and friendly competition.

6. Thanksgiving-themed office games

Inject some playfulness into the celebration with Thanksgiving-themed office games.

Consider organizing a turkey trot around the office, a pumpkin ring toss, or a scavenger hunt with clues related to Thanksgiving traditions. Games provide a lighthearted way for colleagues to interact and enjoy the holiday together.

7. Giving back

Embrace the spirit of gratitude by organizing a charitable initiative. This could involve collecting non-perishable food items for a local food bank, organizing a volunteer day at a community organization, or participating in a charity run.

Giving back as a team not only strengthens the bond among colleagues but also contributes to the well-being of the community.

8. DIY Thanksgiving crafts

Set up a crafting station with materials for creating Thanksgiving-themed crafts. Employees can take a break to make festive decorations, such as handcrafted turkey centerpieces, autumnal wreaths, or personalized gratitude journals. This hands-on activity promotes creativity and a sense of accomplishment.

9. Interactive cooking or baking class

Arrange for a virtual cooking or baking class where a professional chef guides employees through the process of preparing a Thanksgiving dish.

This could be a traditional turkey, a seasonal dessert, or even a vegetarian alternative. It's a fun and interactive way to learn new skills while celebrating the holiday.

10. Thanksgiving movie marathon

Transform a common area into a cozy movie-watching space and host a Thanksgiving movie marathon.

Select a mix of classic and contemporary films with a Thanksgiving theme. Provide popcorn and snacks, and let employees relax and enjoy a cinematic celebration together.

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Ready to make this Canadian Thanksgiving unforgettable for your team? Get started today! Choose from our curated selection of digital gift cards, and watch the smiles grow on your employees' faces. 🌈

Want to know how? Connect with our rewards and incentives expert.

10 Canadian Thanksgiving virtual office celebration ideas

Here are 10 Canadian Thanksgiving virtual office celebration ideas

1. Virtual potluck feast

How about a virtual potluck feast where each team member cooks their favorite Thanksgiving dish and shares the recipe with the team? You can showcase your culinary skills, exchange cooking tips, and virtually "pass" your dishes around for everyone to enjoy.

It's a delightful way to celebrate the holiday and bond over shared recipes and delicious food, even if it's only through the screen.

2. Gratitude sharing circle

Create a virtual space for a gratitude-sharing circle. Ask each team member to express what they're thankful for this year.

It could be personal or work-related. This not only spreads positive vibes but also fosters a sense of appreciation within the team. You can use virtual tools like a gratitude jar or an online board to visually capture everyone's sentiments.

3. Virtual escape room challenge

Turn your virtual celebration into an exciting team-building adventure with a Thanksgiving-themed virtual escape room.

Collaborate with your team to solve puzzles and complete challenges that revolve around the spirit of Thanksgiving. It's a fun and engaging way to enhance teamwork while celebrating the holiday together, albeit in a virtual setting.

4. DIY Thanksgiving decor contest

Encourage your team to get creative by hosting a DIY Thanksgiving decor contest. Each team member can showcase their handmade Thanksgiving decorations during the virtual celebration.

You can then have a friendly competition with categories like "Most Creative," "Best Use of Recycled Materials," or "Most Festive." It's a great way to bring a touch of Thanksgiving spirit into everyone's homes.

5. Virtual games night

Organize a Thanksgiving-themed virtual games night with classic games like charades, Pictionary, or trivia, all with a Thanksgiving twist.

It's a casual and entertaining way to spend time together, share some laughs, and enjoy each other's company. Consider offering small virtual prizes for game winners to add an extra element of excitement.

6. Digital Thanksgiving card exchange

Bring back the tradition of Thanksgiving cards by organizing a digital card exchange. Have team members create personalized digital cards expressing their gratitude or sharing a memorable moment from the past year.

You can use online platforms or apps to facilitate the card exchange, and it's a thoughtful way to connect and celebrate the holiday virtually.

7. Virtual pumpkin carving contest

Host a virtual pumpkin carving contest where team members showcase their artistic talents by carving Thanksgiving-themed designs into pumpkins.

Participants can present their creations during the celebration, and the team can vote for categories like "Most Creative," "Spookiest Thanksgiving," or "Best Team Spirit." It's a festive and visually engaging way to celebrate Thanksgiving together.

8. Online cooking class

Conduct a virtual Thanksgiving cooking class for your team. Everyone can cook along in their kitchens, creating a delicious Thanksgiving dish under the guidance of the chef.

It's an interactive and educational way to celebrate, and at the end of the class, everyone gets to enjoy a meal they've prepared together, enhancing the sense of shared experience.

9. Storytelling time

Create a cozy virtual environment for a Thanksgiving storytelling session. Invite team members to share their favorite Thanksgiving memories, traditions, or even funny anecdotes related to the holiday.

This activity not only allows for personal connections but also gives everyone a chance to learn more about each other's cultural backgrounds and experiences with Thanksgiving.

10. Virtual Thanksgiving story time

The holiday season is a time for sharing, and what better way to connect with your colleagues than through storytelling?

Invite team members to share their favorite Thanksgiving memories, traditions, or heartwarming stories from their childhood.

This activity allows for a more personal and intimate connection as you learn more about each other's experiences and backgrounds. It can foster a sense of camaraderie and deepen the bonds within your team.

Celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving the modern way! 🍁

With the changing times, why not express gratitude to your incredible team in a way they'll truly appreciate? Send a digital gift card today and watch their spirits soar!

5 Canadian Thanksgiving activities for the office

Here are 5 Canadian Thanksgiving activity ideas for the office

1. Gratitude jar gathering

Encourage your office mates to express their gratitude by setting up a "Gratitude Jar" in a common area. Provide colorful paper and pens, and ask everyone to write down something they're thankful for.

This could be work-related or personal. During a break, gather everyone to read some of the notes aloud. It's a simple but powerful way to create a positive atmosphere.

2. Potluck lunch feast

Organize a Thanksgiving potluck lunch where each colleague brings in a dish to share. This not only celebrates the diversity of your team but also creates a warm, communal atmosphere. Consider having a theme, like "traditional Thanksgiving" or "international flavors," to make it even more interesting.

3. Team building turkey trot

Plan a friendly "Turkey Trot" around your office building or nearby park. It's a light-hearted way to encourage physical activity and team bonding.

You can make it even more fun by incorporating Thanksgiving-themed costumes or props. Don't forget to take a group photo at the end to capture the shared experience.

4. Decorate your workspace contest

Host a workspace decorating contest with a Thanksgiving twist. Provide festive decorations or encourage colleagues to bring in their own.

Colleagues can then vote on the most creatively decorated workspace. This not only adds a touch of celebration to the office but also allows people to express their individuality.

5. Thanksgiving trivia challenge

Create a Thanksgiving-themed trivia challenge for the office. Divide your colleagues into teams and have a friendly competition during a break or lunchtime.

Include questions about Canadian Thanksgiving traditions, history, and fun facts. It's a lighthearted way to learn more about the holiday and have a good time together.

5 Canadian Thanksgiving virtual activity ideas for the office

Here are 5 Canadian Thanksgiving virtual activity ideas for the office

1. Virtual escape room challenge

Engage your team's problem-solving skills by hosting a virtual escape room challenge. There are online platforms that offer interactive and collaborative escape room experiences.

Split your team into small groups and have them work together to solve puzzles and "escape" within a set time. It promotes teamwork and critical thinking in a fun and entertaining way.

2. Virtual talent show

Organize a virtual talent show where team members can showcase their hidden talents or perform Thanksgiving-themed acts.

Whether it's singing, playing an instrument, reciting a Thanksgiving poem, or showcasing a unique skill, this activity adds a layer of entertainment and personal expression to the virtual celebration.

3. Online cooking class

Connect your team through a virtual cooking class. Hire a chef or designate someone in your team with culinary skills to lead a cooking session.

Choose a recipe that everyone can follow, and have a virtual cooking session where colleagues can chat, cook together, and enjoy a virtual meal. It's a delicious way to bond and learn something new.

4. Virtual book club

Start a virtual book club within your office. Pick a book that is interesting and relevant to your team's interests or professional development.

Schedule regular virtual meetings to discuss the chapters, share insights, and build connections beyond work-related topics. It's an excellent way to promote a culture of continuous learning and camaraderie.

5. Digital scavenger hunt

Organize a virtual scavenger hunt that gets your team exploring their own homes. Create a list of items or tasks that participants need to find or complete within a set time.

This not only adds an element of fun but also encourages movement and a change of scenery during the workday. Award points for creativity and speed to make it more competitive and engaging.


In conclusion, Canadian Thanksgiving provides a fantastic opportunity to bring your workplace together, allowing your team to express gratitude and create lasting memories.

Whether you choose to host a delightful potluck, engage in team-building activities, or simply take a moment to reflect on the things you're thankful for, these celebrations can strengthen the bonds among your colleagues and cultivate a more positive and harmonious work environment.

So, as the autumn leaves fall and the air turns crisp, consider incorporating some of these ideas into your workplace Thanksgiving celebration.

By doing so, you'll not only create a memorable event but also foster a spirit of gratitude that can resonate throughout the year.

Here's to a joyful and thankful Canadian Thanksgiving in your workplace!

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