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Canadian Thanksgiving is typically celebrated on the second Monday in October. In the workplace, it's often observed on this day as a way to give employees a day off to spend with their families and loved ones, similar to how Thanksgiving is celebrated in the United States.

The reasons for celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving at the workplace include promoting work-life balance and recognizing the importance of spending time with family and friends.

It's a way for employers to show appreciation for their employee's hard work and to foster a positive work environment.

Some workplaces may also choose to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving by organizing potluck lunches or dinners, where employees can bring in dishes to share with their colleagues, fostering a sense of community and camaraderie in the workplace.

So, celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving in the workplace is a way to acknowledge the holiday's significance in Canadian culture and to promote a healthy work-life balance among employees.

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When and why Canadian Thanksgiving is celebrated at the workplace?

Canadian Thanksgiving is celebrated at the workplace typically in October, and it's a time for employees to come together and give thanks for various reasons. Here are some key points explaining when and why Canadian Thanksgiving is celebrated at the workplace:

  • Date: Canadian Thanksgiving falls on the second Monday in October. This date is different from the American Thanksgiving, which is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November.
  • Harvest season: Canadian Thanksgiving aligns with the harvest season when farmers traditionally gather their crops. It's a time to appreciate the bountiful harvest and the fruits of labor.
  • Workplace celebration: Many Canadian workplaces choose to celebrate Thanksgiving as a way to foster a sense of community and gratitude among employees.
  • Employee appreciation: Canadian Thanksgiving at the workplace can be an opportunity for employers to express gratitude to their staff for their hard work and dedication throughout the year.
  • Team building: Celebrating Thanksgiving at work often involves potluck lunches or dinners where employees bring dishes to share. This encourages teamwork, camaraderie, and social interaction among coworkers.
  • Cultural diversity: Canada is a diverse country with people from various cultural backgrounds. Celebrating Thanksgiving at the workplace can be a way to acknowledge and respect the different cultural traditions of employees.
  • Giving back: Some workplaces use the occasion to engage in charitable activities, such as food drives or volunteering, to help those in need. This embodies the spirit of giving and sharing associated with Thanksgiving.
  • Boosting morale: Recognizing and celebrating holidays like Thanksgiving can boost employee morale, improve job satisfaction, and create a positive workplace culture.
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History of Canadian Thanksgiving

Canadian Thanksgiving has its roots in European traditions. Some believe it traces back to the 1578 voyage of explorer Martin Frobisher in search of the Northwest Passage.

When he and his crew safely returned to Newfoundland, they held a feast to give thanks for their survival and a bountiful harvest. However, it wasn't until 1957 that Canadian Thanksgiving was officially proclaimed as the second Monday in October.

Now, the connection to the workplace is interesting. Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude, and in the workplace, expressing gratitude can play a crucial role in fostering a positive work environment.

Employers can use this occasion to show appreciation for their employees' hard work and dedication throughout the year.

Organizing a Thanksgiving celebration at the workplace, such as a shared meal or a small event, can boost team morale and create a sense of camaraderie. It's an opportunity for colleagues to come together, share a meal, and reflect on the positive aspects of their work.

Additionally, encouraging a culture of gratitude in the workplace can lead to increased job satisfaction and employee engagement.

A simple thank-you note, recognition during a team meeting, or a small gesture of appreciation can go a long way in building a supportive and motivated work community.

Ways to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving at the Workplace

Celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving at the workplace is a great way to foster a sense of community and gratitude among colleagues. Here are some ideas for a festive and inclusive celebration:

1. The workplace harvest

Canadian Thanksgiving provides a unique opportunity to bring the spirit of gratitude into the workplace.

More than just a day off, it's a chance for colleagues to come together, reflect on the successes of the year, and appreciate the collective efforts that have contributed to the workplace harvest. From thriving projects to overcoming challenges, there's always something to be thankful for in a professional setting.

2. Decorating the office

Transforming the office space into a harvest haven can set the mood for a festive celebration. Think autumnal colors – rich oranges, deep reds, and earthy browns. Cornucopias, pumpkins, and fall leaves can be tastefully arranged to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Encourage colleagues to bring in a small item or decoration that represents what they are thankful for, fostering a sense of personal connection within the workspace.

3. Gratitude wall

Create a Gratitude Wall where employees can pin notes expressing their thanks. It could be a shout-out to a helpful colleague, gratitude for a successful project, or appreciation for the team spirit.

As the wall fills up, it becomes a visual representation of the collective achievements and the positive impact each individual has on the team.

4. Thanksgiving potluck

Food is at the heart of any Thanksgiving celebration, and a workplace potluck is an excellent way to bring everyone together. Encourage employees to bring dishes that hold personal significance or represent their cultural background.

From classic turkey and stuffing to international delights, a diverse potluck mirrors the diversity of the team and adds a unique flavor to the celebration.

5. Team-building activities

Thanksgiving is not just about the food; it's also about fostering a sense of community and togetherness. Plan team-building activities that promote collaboration and gratitude.

Whether it's a friendly competition, a team-building game, or a shared project, these activities can strengthen the bonds between colleagues and enhance the overall work environment.

6. Expressing thanks

Take some time during the celebration to express thanks. This could involve a short speech from leadership, an open mic for employees to share their gratitude or a simple round-robin where everyone expresses one thing they are thankful for.

Acknowledging and appreciating the hard work and dedication of the team can boost morale and motivate everyone for the challenges ahead.

Importance of celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving at the workplace

Celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving at the workplace can have several important benefits:

  • Building a sense of community: It provides an opportunity for coworkers to come together, bond, and build a sense of unity. Sharing a meal and gratitude can foster a stronger sense of belonging and teamwork.
  • Boosting morale: Celebrating Thanksgiving can boost employee morale. It's a chance to express gratitude for the hard work and contributions of colleagues, which can improve overall job satisfaction.
  • Reducing stress: Taking a break from work to celebrate can help reduce stress levels. It's a chance to relax, enjoy good food, and take a mental break, which can improve mental well-being.
  • Promoting inclusivity: Celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving allows workplaces to embrace the diverse backgrounds and cultures of their employees. It's an inclusive way to acknowledge and celebrate the cultural traditions of Canadian employees.
  • Enhancing company culture: Incorporating celebrations like Thanksgiving into the workplace culture can make it more positive and enjoyable. It shows that the company values its employees beyond just their work contributions.
  • Improving employee retention: When employees feel appreciated and part of a supportive workplace community, they are more likely to stay with the company long-term. Celebrations like Thanksgiving can contribute to employee retention efforts.
  • Encouraging gratitude: Thanksgiving is a time to express gratitude. Encouraging employees to reflect on what they're thankful for can promote a positive mindset, which can extend to their work.
  • Promoting work-life balance: Recognizing holidays like Thanksgiving underscores the importance of work-life balance. It encourages employees to take time off, recharge, and spend quality time with their loved ones.
  • Enhancing communication: Social gatherings like Thanksgiving celebrations can improve communication among employees. They can interact with colleagues they may not often engage with during regular work hours.
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What is the origin of Canadian Thanksgiving?

Canadian Thanksgiving has its origins in a mix of European traditions and indigenous practices.

The first recorded Canadian Thanksgiving was celebrated by English explorer Martin Frobisher in 1578, as he and his crew gave thanks for a safe journey. Later, French settlers in New France (now Quebec) also held feasts of gratitude.

But, the modern celebration is more directly linked to a series of events in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Thanksgiving was first recognized as a national holiday in 1879, and it was celebrated on a Thursday in November.

Later, in 1957, the Canadian Parliament proclaimed Thanksgiving to be a day of general thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed.

Unlike the U.S. Thanksgiving, which is tied to the Pilgrims' feast in 1621, Canadian Thanksgiving has a more fluid historical development, blending European and indigenous customs with a focus on giving thanks for the harvest and blessings of the past year.

Today, it is a time for Canadians to gather with family and friends, share a festive meal, and express gratitude for the good things in life. The official date for Canadian Thanksgiving is the second Monday in October.


In the mosaic of everyday work life, Canadian Thanksgiving offers a palette of warm hues and a chance to paint the workplace with the brush of gratitude.

Embracing the spirit of the season in the professional sphere not only cultivates a positive work environment but also nurtures a sense of camaraderie that transcends daily tasks.

So, as the leaves fall and the scent of pumpkin spice fills the air, let's gather in our workplaces, share a meal, and give thanks for the abundance that fills both our personal and professional lives.

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!!

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