The Case for Thanksgiving

It’s finally November. After what was seemingly the longest Halloween celebration I can remember, it’s time for sunset at 4 p.m. and drinking soup at all hours of the day while starting your holiday shopping. It’s also time to get ready for Thanksgiving. 

While celebrating Halloween this year, I got to thinking: why is Thanksgiving so slept on? From memes celebrating the first day of Christmas as November 1, to stores starting to play holiday songs, it seems like the general public has forgotten an incredibly important holiday. 

I want to be clear: a lot of why Thanksgiving has a bad reputation is for the disgusting historical significance. There was nothing fun and friendly about the “first Thanksgiving.” Native people do not deserve to have this part of history dangled in their faces each year. 

Because of that, I’m making the case for a secular Thanksgiving. Much of what Thanksgiving has come to mean outside of its history is that families should come together around a table to share a (large) meal and to celebrate the blessings they’ve had throughout the year. 

For many people, Thanksgiving is the unofficial beginning of the Christmas season. You spend all day sitting with family or friends, watching the parade on TV or listening to your favorite Christmas songs all day and singing along. It has become the precursor to Black Friday, where people wait in line (or fill their Amazon carts) with gifts for their loved ones. 

Another more obvious reason to love Thanksgiving is the food. Ask 20 different people what their favorite Thanksgiving food is, and you will get 20 different answers. Food is cultural, and people have different traditions other than what is generally popular. 

Plus, there is absolutely nothing like a warm meal around a table with a group of people you love. This is why people host Friendsgiving before Thanksgiving, because it is beautiful to have a reason to tell the people you love that you love them. 

Thanksgiving isn’t Christmas. There’s no music, there’s no mood-setters like decorated trees and plants hanging from the ceiling. There’s just a day-long cooking process and a lot of energy involved. 

So, this Thanksgiving, remember to feel it. Sit around the table and eat your heart out. And remember to give thanks to whoever you’re sharing your holiday with.