Thanksgiving is one of my favourite times of the year. I love the change in weather and pace not to mention, the cool crisp air and falling leaves. There is something just so cozy about this season!
Each year I always get so excited to do this blog with you. It allows me to take the time to sit back and reflect on what I am thankful for and why those things are so important to me. However, I have been doing a lot of learning and unlearning throughout the course of this year and while the work is far from being done, I feel as though with every moment, I learn something new.
Having said that, I recently learned a few unfortunate things about Thanksgiving. Traditionally, Thanksgiving was celebrated as the first harvest and the blessing from the past year. However, if it wasn’t for the hospitality and generosity of the Indigenous people (specifically the Mi’Kmaq people) back in 1606, teaching the settlers about the land, food and resources the settlers would have barely survived. This gave settlers a fighting chance and allowed them to survive for generations on Indigenous land. However, in 1626 the friendship between the Indigenous people and the settlers quickly deteriorated after white colonizers started to kidnap Indigenous people. What was once labelled as a “friendship” in the Plymouth Rock Story quickly escalated into mass killings in the King Phillip’s War. In 1637, following the massacre, William Bradford, the Governor of Plymouth, wrote that for “the next 100 years, every Thanksgiving Day ordained by a Governor was in honor of the bloody victory, thanking God that the battle had been won.” I am thankful for Kathleen from Nine Rising for sharing this information with me.
When I read all of this, it made me feel so disheartened and downright ICKY. I wanted to make sure I brought this to light and mention that one of our goals here at JHD is to continue to learn and unlearn as we go and continue to support and celebrate the Indigenous community as much as we can. We will also be making a donation this Thanksgiving to the Native Women’s Association of Canada.
For those of you who may not know, The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is a National Indigenous Organization representing the political voice of Indigenous women, girls, and gender diverse people in Canada, inclusive of First Nations on and off-reserve, status and non-status, disenfranchised, Métis and Inuit. NWAC was founded on the collective goal to enhance, promote and foster the social, economic, cultural, and political well-being of Indigenous women within their respective communities and Canadian societies.
Having said that, I’m not entirely sure if it is right or wrong for me to continue with this blog and list the things I am grateful for here but I do hope I can continue this yearly tradition while also putting in the work and continuing to pay tribute to the Indigenous community.
1. The Kids
For those who don’t know, I made a career change last summer and made the decision to step away from my role as a TV Host. I found that I was travelling too much which resulted in so much time away from the kids which I found to be extremely difficult since they are growing and changing so fast. I am now focusing on my own brand while spending much more time with Leo and Annie. In fact, I even decided to take Friday’s off so I could just be present with them and watch their little personalities develop!
This blog would not be complete without thanking Justin. Like any relationship out there, ours is certainly not perfect and we go through our fair share of ups and downs but we have a lot of love for each other and I’m just so grateful for him. He is such an incredible parent to Leo, Annie, and our fur babes and I love the fact that we are constantly learning from each other. Not to mention, figuring out how to put up with each other’s quirks … LOL!
Even though 2020 has been a rough year for so many people, I am beyond grateful for all of the expansions that happened so far over the course of this year. I personally feel there has been massive growth not only in my brain but my heart as well. While I feel as though there has been a lot of pressure lately and things have felt a bit overwhelming, I am thankful for the knowledge it has brought myself and my team as I feel as though I am a better human because of it.
4. My Career & Team Jilly
There’s no denying that my business has seen quite a bit of growth lately with the success of the Jilly Box, the growth of our team, and all of our amazing partners. I often get asked how I do it all and to be honest, I don’t. I am lucky enough to have an amazing team of driven, supportive, intelligent, and talented women here to do it all with me. I am so grateful we all hold such a similar vision for this brand and have brought so many amazing things to life this year while continuing to give back to our community and the communities around us.
5. My Family
Thanksgiving would certainly not be complete without my family. I am so happy to say that my mom is doing absolutely incredible, my parents are thrilled to be grandparents and are soaking it all in. I am thankful that my cousin, Sam, is living here again and that I get to see her and my cousin Steph frequently. I am also so proud of Tori and the success we have seen with the Fraiche Food Full Hearts cookbook … can you believe it has been a year since we launched it?! Wow! Time flies! Lastly, it has been so beautiful watching our children grow up together … that is so special for all of us!