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Thanksgiving: the Middle Child of the Holiday Season

The month of November means that we have landed smack dab in the middle of the holiday season. October is all about being excited about fall weather, PSL’s and prepping for Halloween. Then, as a quick glimpse of social media can quickly show you, the day after Halloween people jump right into the Christmas spirit. It’s light a light switch that gets triggered at 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 31.

Every single year, without a doubt, this triggers the debate about “skipping over” Thanksgiving. Some people claim this light switch mentality, bringing people from all things spooky immediately to all things holly jolly, neglects the whole month of November and Thanksgiving. The counter-argument is that there is no Thanksgiving music to listen to and people are not forgetting Thanksgiving, they just want to extend the Christmas spirit.

Still, every year this argument reduces Thanksgiving to the middle child who feels left out of the fun with little attention paid to it. Thanksgiving is out shadowed by the two holidays that come before and after; and on an actual day it becomes reduced to a dinner, an excuse to watch football or basketball all day, and is increasingly taken over by Black Friday (which is a whole other discussion/argument).

What we forget is the reason that we celebrate Thanksgiving and that the holiday has its moments too.

Thanksgiving is a day to be surrounded by family (or friends!), enjoying a good meal altogether. A day to be thankful for everything that we are blessed to have, both individually and as American citizens.

Thanksgiving is about such important values that we literally celebrate it with one of the largest parades (because what is more American than celebrating something important with a parade?). Also, some of the best television episodes are centered around Thanksgiving. For example, Thanksgiving episodes of ‘Friends’ and ‘Gossip Girl’ are some of the best of each series.

So why do we continually resort to thinking of this holiday as a middle child of this season when it is clearly something great and special? Well, to reference the episode of ‘Full House’ titled ‘Middle Age Crazy’ where Stephanie Tanner struggles with life as a middle child, the middle is often the best part. The creme between two Oreo cookies, the makings of a sandwich between two pieces of bread.

Without arguing one side of the social media war over the other on when we should start celebrating Christmas, it is a time we started paying Thanksgiving its due diligence. Maybe from Nov. 1 until Thanksgiving we start posting daily things that we are thankful for. Or every weekend we donate our time to a different organization to show how thankful we are for what we have, maybe it will start a trend that will last all year. Either way, Thanksgiving remains the middle child of the holidays; a wonderful, family filled day stuffed in the middle.

Taylor is a current graduate student at S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University majoring in Magazine, Newspaper and Online Journalism. She graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University in May 2017 where she majored in Communications with a concentration in Multimedia Journalism and minored in Public Relations. She is also an alumna of Phi Sigma Sigma. Taylor is interested in entertainment, pop culture, fashion and beauty writing.
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