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Disclaimer: Christmas will not be included in this ranking. However, Merry Christmas to those who celebrate!


There are about four major, secular holidays in the American calendar year: Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve/Day, Fourth of July, and Halloween. 


Sure, there are some lesser contenders mixed in throughout the year; there’s Valentine’s Day in February, St. Patrick’s Day in March, maybe some would also consider daylight savings time to be a holiday (I would not, but I digress.) There is also a lot of discourse as to which is the best holiday; Thanksgiving has turkey and mashed potatoes, New Year’s has alcohol (if you’re 21+) and party hats, Fourth of July has barbecue and fireworks, and Halloween has candy and costumes. 


However, there is a definitive ranking system I have in mind that I think can settle the debate. From worst to best…


4. Thanksgiving

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Some of you might be angry with me for this, but this holiday is overrated. First of all, turkey is the worst poultry out there — dry, boring and played out. Cranberry sauce is another missed point for this holiday, because I’m of the opinion that sweet and savory should not mix, and therefore cranberry sauce in a savory dinner is downright nasty. 


Third, the only redeeming quality that Thanksgiving has is mashed potatoes. I can and will admit there is never a wrong time for those. However, that’s the problem — you can have mashed potatoes any time of the year. Next!


3. New Years

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I may be cynical, but I never found New Years to be that great. When you’re young, all you mostly do is hang out and wait for the ball drop. Once it hits midnight, the party is over. Where’s the fun in that? Even when you’re older and of legal drinking age, it’s still honestly overblown.


I don’t see the point in a holiday where all the fun ends at midnight, and then the rest of the night is a let down. The party hats and streamers are a nice touch though, so a point goes to New Years. 


2. Fourth of July 

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I’ve always loved the Fourth of July ever since I was a little kid. We would spend time at my cousins’ houses, cooking up burgers and hot dogs, swimming and running around with each other, and we could all gather around and watch fireworks, which I’ve always loved. 


Nowadays, I still spend time with my family and do the same activities, so I’ve gotta say Fourth of July definitely beats out the previous two holidays. However, since fireworks always scare my dogs, I’m gonna have to take away a point. Sorry!


1. Halloween

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Who doesn’t love Halloween? It’s got everything for everyone of all ages. The young kids can get dressed up and go trick or treating, young adults can go out and party (unless there’s a pandemic, who would’ve seen that coming?) and if being social isn’t your vibe, you can always kick back with a scary movie and enjoy the festive atmosphere. 


And did I mention candy is available for all aforementioned groups of people? Halloween cannot and will not be beat, and this is a fact.

I am a Public Relations major at the Pennsylvania State University. When I'm not writing for Her Campus, I enjoy watching the Office and volunteering at my local animal shelters.
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