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Why Thanksgiving Should be a Main Character



There’s the obvious elephant in the room, but then there’s all those other reasons why everyone hates Thanksgiving. COVID-19 has ruined many of our travel plans and family traditions during this time, but a lot of people disliked Thanksgiving even before the pandemic hit. Is it the incessant family drama, the fact that you just want it to be Christmas, or something else altogether? I happen to be in the majority that often overlooks Thanksgiving, but a small Friendsgiving get-together inspired me to believe otherwise. I’ve switched sides, and here’s why you should, too.


Everyone that I know jumped right from spooky season to merry season. The evident reason to not skip out on Thanksgiving is the food, but there are other reasons. I didn’t really think about it either, but I recently went to a Friendsgiving and have started realizing the importance of stepping back, reflecting, and really putting things in perspective.


I showed up to this dinner, unsure of what to expect. Thanksgiving is also a touchy subject in my own family, given the many tragedies that always seemed to occur during this time. I’m also not really super close friends with these people, in that “I-don’t-really-talk-to-them but-seem-to-have-a-decent-time-when-we’re-together” kind of way. As a result, I tried keeping my expectations as low as possible. Since I’m writing this article, I assume that you can guess that something relatively profound did happen that day, and you would be right. I felt very in place, something that I hadn’t felt in college. My daily existential crisis didn’t hit. I got a very warm welcome, and sat down at a table full of friends and delicacies. We went around saying what each of us was thankful for, and once that initial wave of panic of not knowing what to say passed by, I was astounded by how much I truly have to be thankful for. Everything that I’m going through was finally put in perspective for me; my thinking has deepened and my horizons have broadened.


This probably just sounds like another cheesy story, but you’d be surprised by how much you get lost in the small, negative details that you forget about everything good going on for you in the bigger picture. I’m so inspired that I started keeping a journal, actually, with at least five good things that happen to me everyday. 


I’m always left breathless thinking about the brilliant lights and colors and festive traditions of the holiday season, but Thanksgiving should not be dismissed as some unimportant side piece to other main character holidays. It’s a time to be able to step back, reflect, and truly appreciate everything that we have. After all, when else are you going to get a government-sanctioned day off just to think about what you’re grateful for? 


If it helps, I’ll go first. I’m thankful for the good health and safety of my friends and family, and for TikTok not actually getting banned (what else would I do with my free time?). Now it’s your turn, and make sure you spread the appreciation this holiday season.

I'm a pre-medical student attending Michigan State University, with hopes of becoming a physician in the future. I love to spend time with family and friends, cook and bake, draw, and read in my free time.
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