By Lana. It’s the season, but I am still not ready! Thanksgiving signals the count down to the end of the year and the winding down of activities. Whenever I go to the store, I am sadly reminded of this fast approaching event. I am overwhelmed with items for sale to help me and my surroundings prepare for the holidays – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Kwanzaa.

I wonder what the original founders of the American Thanksgiving would think if they could see how this holiday has evolved. The busiest travel dates of the year, retailers looking for their annual profits for online, in-store, small business Saturday purchases and for shoppers, the Friday-after-Thanksgiving sales are sought after.

The United States is not the only country to give thanks and have a holiday with this name, in secular, religious and cultural veins. Our neighbor to the north Canada celebrates Thanksgiving on the second Monday in October. Some other countries that commemorate are the Caribbean islands of St Lucia and Grenada, Germany, Japan, Australia, Liberia, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and the Philippines.

Alternately, there are other countries that have a holiday with the same name but the history is different. In Grenada Thanksgiving commemorates the remembrance of the United States-led invasion of the island in 1983.  In Germany, Erntedankfest is observed religiously but does not include large dinners. Thanksgiving, Makar Sankranti is celebrated in some parts of India by observing a four-day festival to express gratitude to the Sun God for a successful harvest.