Wherever the Road Leads

The Toronto Santa Claus Parade

Putting the Cart Before the Horse

This past Saturday, November 15th, the annual Santa Claus Parade took place in downtown Toronto. This morning, Monday November 17th, it is snowing in downtown Toronto. The two are related. Trust me.

When it comes to Holidays – as in a statutory Holiday, not vacation – I have found Americans to be much more effusive. Perhaps it is because Canadians are more reserved by comparison, perhaps it is because when an American worker gets a Paid Holiday, he is very grateful. In the US, there are six Public Holidays:

New Year’s Day – Jan 1st – (fixed)

Memorial Day – last Monday in May

Independence Day – July 4th – fixed

Labor Day – first Monday in September

Thanksgiving – fourth Thursday in November

Christmas Day – December 25th – fixed

Employers generally give employees a ‘Floating Holiday’ which may be taken to observe a religious Holiday or at any time.

 

Canadian Statutory Holidays come a little more often:

New Year’s Day – Jan 1st – (fixed)

Family Day – 3rd Monday in February

Good Friday – Friday before Easter Sunday

Easter Monday – Monday after Easter Sunday

Victoria Day – Monday on or before May 24th

Canada Day – July 1st (closest Monday)

Civic Holiday – 1st Monday in August

Labour Day – 1st Monday in September

Thanksgiving – 2nd Monday in October

Remembrance Day – November 11th. Different parts of the country treated Remembrance Day differently. However after the recent tragic killings of Canadian soldiers right here in Canada, Parliament is one vote away from declaring it a national Statutory Holiday.

Christmas Day – December 25th (fixed)

Boxing Day – December 26th (fixed)

Twelve Public Holidays in Canada. By comparison, France, thought by many to have the most socialized workforce in the western world, has eleven Public Holidays.

 

It is the Thanksgiving Holiday that I want to focus on. Thanksgiving is the busiest flying time in the US, probably because so many people take, or are given off, the Friday after Thanksgiving to make it a four-day weekend. “Black Friday”, the day after Thanksgiving, is when all the retailers offer huge discounts to get shoppers with free time into their stores.

Having worked for an Office Depot distribution center, I know that it is a monumental task stocking up the retail stores in anticipation of the Thanksgiving – Black Friday rush, then resupplying the retail stores after Thanksgiving sales. I think in the minds of most Americans, Thanksgiving – towards the end of November – is the kick-off to the Christmas season.

So, when Toronto has its Santa Claus Parade weeks before Macy’s in New York has its Thanksgiving Day Parade, fate is being tempted. And here is the result….

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Yes, that is a salt truck ready to spray the roads.

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Even Tupelo can’t believe his eyes.

snow-cat

 

I know, those in Canada reading this are rolling their eyes thinking, get over it! It’s Canada, it’s winter, there’s nothing that you can do. And for all of y’all (youses, in Canadian) that is perfectly true.

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Florida “In God We Trust” License Plate

But for those of us with a choice, a second winter in Canada is fixin’ to kill me.

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