HOW IT BEGAN

Canadian Thanksgiving: An extremely factual origin story

Canadian Thanksgiving is upon us, which arguably means nothing aside from a shorter workweek and access to an abundance of pie.
(Illustration by Jessica Campbell)

Canadian Thanksgiving is upon us, which arguably means nothing aside from a shorter workweek and access to an abundance of pie. Some of us will hang out amongst friends and family, others will ignore the holiday entirely while eating Chef Boyardee over the sink (see: Thanksgiving 2007).

Either way, we will be privy to a bevy of gourds, pumpkin-flavoured treats, and the compulsion to consume a full box of stovetop stuffing for lunch today because the world is burning and at this point I don't think we have anything to lose.

The thing is, this holiday is nonsense. And while seeing "Happy Turkey Day!" on my Facebook feed a million times might mean something to somebody, it means nothing to me. That is: until now.

Here are the only facts about the Canadian Thanksgiving I care about, presented in a way that creates a narrative that is absolutely true, not at all made up by me whatsoever.

Canadian Thanksgiving began when Aubrey Drake Graham found an infant Justin Bieber sound asleep in a cabbage patch, being photographed by Anne Geddes, who is not Canadian, but whose work creates a necessary visual.

Drake picked Bieber up gingerly while Celine Dion stood nearby, hoping we wouldn't remember her Anne Geddes collaboration from 2004, which we do, we absolutely do.

In that same moment, Shania Twain approached, wearing denim-on-denim despite her 2017 aesthetic rebrand. She extended a vest, which Drake used to wrap up the tiny, sleeping Justin. Anne Murray wept, because this was art.

Once outside the cabbage patch, Drake woke up the wee baby Justin: "Do you remember Nickels? Celine Dion's restaurant? What a weird thing that was." Justin nodded while drinking Tim Hortons because if I don't include a Tim Hortons reference in here somewhere, someone's going to get mad.

As if on cue, Justin Trudeau emerged from a forest and began hugging what he assumed to be a crowd of enthusiastic Canadian citizens. "Those are just magazine covers with your face on them," Drake whispered. In gratitude, JT handed him a pair of socks with his own face on them. "Hudson's Bay Company," Trudeau replied. "Canada 150."

25 sentient Timbits carried him away, shouting, "Canada's boyfriend!" Justin cheered.

Drake picked Tiny Bieber™ back up and came face-to-face with Megan Follows. "Say the password," she instructed. Drake bowed his head. "I recognize only the 1987 instalment of ta," he responded, drinking from a jug of raspberry cordial. But the taste was odd. "Carrots!" he identified, before being allowed to pass.

At that moment, Drake saw his final destination: the CN Tower, a structure with which he would later be forever entwined. Simultaneously, Bieber began to gently snore, comforted by the embrace of his best friend, Aubrey, whose penchant for emotions made it safe to be vulnerable. Drake looked up, saw the face of Alessia Cara in the moon and took solace in knowing his path was being guided by such a beautiful cinnamon roll, too good for this world, too pure.

Drake kneeled in front of the SkyDome (always the SkyDome, never the Rogers Centre) and prayed to the memory of José Bautista. In the 500s, Wayne Gretzky wept. "Why won't Anne give a shit about hockey?" he cried to himself.

"Because she went to school with too many guys who played it, and hates everything that reminds her of them," Shawn Mendes answered, his hand placed assuredly on Wayne's shoulder. "Also, Sidney Crosby needs to sort out his politics."

Bieber laid across the third base line. "I know Josh Donaldson probably isn't going to be traded, but it feels important to mention that the Jays really need him."

"Height doesn't measure heart," Marcus Stroman said, sitting next to him.

Meanwhile, Drake climbed to the top of the CN Tower and stood looking over the city.

"Every Canadian should be thankful for this story," he said to no one in particular. "And if not for the story itself, then for the author of this piece."

Happy Thanksgiving, Canada.

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About the Author

Anne T. Donahue

Anne T. Donahue is a writer and person from Cambridge, Ontario who likes to type in all caps.