Existing so close to the United States must be heartbreaking. We get credit for everything. We won World War II and saved the Universe, even though you guys had the third largest navy and were just as important in the landings at Normandy. Yet no matter how you frame it, Canada still functions essentially as America’s hat. Or…we’re Canada’s pants. Either way, Florida is the dick of North America.
So in the spirit of the season of giving and Goodwill, I’d like to give the gift of this article, which takes a massive dump on Canada’s cultural traditions by using Wikipedia to point out how much their holidays suck compared to ours, from a guy who has only been there twice. And then I will go buy some old furniture from Goodwill.
I’m sorry. But they really suck.
1) Canadian Thanksgiving
Occurs: Second Monday in October
Canadian Thanksgiving is simply the Canadian version of a holiday that celebrates gluttony and genocide together, which somehow isn’t about zombies. Almost every crucial aspect of Canadian Thanksgiving comes from America. I’ve never seen a more blatant national theft that doesn’t entail trying to find a non-pirated KFC in China.
Both Thanksgivings celebrate a plentiful harvest by eating the entire harvest in one go. But the custom of turkey, squash, and pumpkin came directly from us. After the American Revolution, British loyalists moved up north bringing our practices with them. Granted, those guys were traitorous bastards, but kudos for actually following through on the threats of moving to Canada as a response to America’s political climate.
Not only do they steal our food, but the Canadian Football League actually plays games on Thanksgiving. Blasphemy! I don’t even watch football, but I imagine that the Canadian version involves a lot of polite turn-taking and hugging.
Canadian Thanksgiving doesn’t even have a cool story. We bring our kids up with some idealized version of the Pilgrims and Indians, before having to explain that the few Indians that have survived our atrocities since then were given reparations in the form of getting to watch old white people lose their retirement funds at Mohegan Sun. The origin of Canadian Thanksgiving is some hilariously slapstick story about an English explorer who brought back 1000 tons of what he thought was gold but was actually worthless shit. It also involves something called “The Order of Good Cheer” because of course it does.
2) Victoria Day
Occurs: Monday before May 25th
Canadians started celebrating Queen Victoria’s birthday after residents gathered in front of the government house in 1854 to “give cheers” and to celebrate her turning 35, or in those days, her transition into senior citizenry. As silly as it is to be celebrating a monarchy (Democracy isn’t perfect, but it’s 2012. You’d think the idea of royalty would be a little outdated by now.), the Queen’s official birthday has been changed more times than my adult diapers. Her actual birthday is on the 24th, but it’s celebrated on a different day every year because of the way calendars work. Weirdly, Victoria Day also becomes the official birthday of every reigning Canadian monarch no matter what their real birthday is. Really? Are you Canadians so confused by the idea of birthdays that you…
What’s that you say?
Americans celebrate Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays on a day that will never fall on their actual birthdays because we lazily combined them into the same holiday?
…Fuck you, you get one freebie.
3) Boxing Day
Occurs: Day after Christmas
Throughout all of my travels I’ve met close to 3 Canadians (I’ve since lost count), and not one could ever give a straight answer to the question of what Boxing Day is. Wiki says it was the day in which tradesmen and servants would receive gifts from their bosses (known as “Christmas boxes”), but even Wikipedia seems like they are shrugging their shoulders when they say it. Does it even have anything to do with boxing? Whatever the hell it is, it’s incredibly foreign to us Americans.
Further research (scrolling the page) has revealed the truth to me: it’s literally Canadian Black Friday, except it happens after Christmas. Shoppers line up at 5 in the morning for doorbusters and the news runs stories of people being trampled because they have a captive audience who are off of work and nothing to actually report on.
Wait, this actually makes more sense than the American version. Logically, a store will discount it’s merchandise after the Holidays to unload their excess inventory quicker. Conversely, why the hell would a store give any discounts at all during the busiest shopping time of the year (before Christmas) when they know they have guaranteed sales? The cynic in me wants to think that American stores take advantage of this mentality for their benefit, but then again the cynic in me also believes that the American Government is run by lizard men from the planet Q’zaal.
However, I refuse to admit that Cyber Boxing Day is anything but a televised 24-hour robot fight.
4) August Civic Holiday
Occurs: First Monday in August
OK, now we’re just getting desperate. Canada wanted another long weekend so bad that they just made up a holiday. There is no official name for August Civic Holiday. Half of the provinces don’t even recognize it, and some local municipalities just call it their own thing.
Where’s the story here? Toronto believes they were the ones who first came up with it as a “day of recreation” and everyone else just said “Hell ya, day off!” and followed suit. They later renamed it after a soldier because fuck, we can’t have people taking a day off for fun.
Well, I guess Canada isn’t all that bad after all. The American Propaganda Machine has successfully brainwashed me yet again (*throws up fist* lizards!) into hating our fine snowy brethren.
Whatever you celebrate, have a good one. As for me, I will be taking a few weeks off to pitch my Cyber Boxing Day idea to Spike TV.
Laffington will be back next year.