OPINION: Leave Thanksgiving alone


Photo credit/ Haven Walsh

Without fail, when the calendar turns from Oct. 31 to Nov. 1, most of the country goes into full Christmas mode. What they forget though is that there’s a perfectly fine holiday that conveniently falls between Halloween and Christmas: Thanksgiving.

To preface, I think that the story behind Thanksgiving is messed up and it’s flawed to celebrate what’s been mythologized as peace between colonizers and Indigenous Americans.

However, a nice holiday to have dinner with family and be thankful for the good things in your life is a great thing that shouldn’t be ignored or diminished.

Thanksgiving as a holiday has so much to offer.

Let’s start with the best tradition in America: the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, followed by the National Dog Show. The parade is a wonderful display of art, entertainment and joy. And at the end, Santa Claus comes down 43rd Street, signaling, importantly, that Christmas comes after Thanksgiving, not before. The National Dog Show is also a delight, because even the dogs that don’t win are winners in my heart.

Food is one of the best aspects of Thanksgiving. Nothing beats eating dinner at 3 p.m. and then eating so much that a nap is necessary and recommended.

Every year the great side debate sweeps every household: which sides are must-haves, which ones are insulting to serve? In troubled times like we are living through, the trivial debates and details are themselves something to be thankful for.

As a football fan, Thanksgiving is a great holiday. Three games are played throughout the day and each year the Lions and the Cowboys play, which is nice for two teams who don’t always do great otherwise. Usually, spending all day watching football and eating ungodly amounts of food is seen as a failure or laziness, but on Thanksgiving it’s all American tradition.

To put it simply, Thanksgiving is a great holiday that needs to be celebrated during its season.

My main issue with the hardcore Christmas group is their insistence that they are correct. Generally speaking, my experience has always been that when I label myself as a Thanksgiving enjoyer, it’s met with criticism. I don’t care if people want to start celebrating Christmas after Halloween ends, I just want them to stop acting like Thanksgiving doesn’t exist.

This is the same gripe I have with almost anyone with strong feelings about something. Let other people like things and enjoy them. If, for you, Christmas starts Nov. 1, go ahead and listen to Mariah Carey on repeat and put up the tree. But don’t force Christmas on everyone, especially people who want to savor the holiday season. By rushing Christmas, it loses its charm.

At the end of the day, Christmas is meant to be celebrated from Black Friday onward. Thanksgiving is a great holiday that deserves the same amount of love, and doesn’t deserve to have its season intruded upon by Christmas.

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