Christmas carols have begun, Starbucks’ cups are decorated, and lights are up...But wait! Where did Thanksgiving go?
At approximately 7:20 am on the morning of November 1, I found myself sitting in the car on the way to school flipping through XM channels on the radio. When I came upon station three, I did not hear the usual mix of pop songs and today’s hits; I instead heard the jolly melody of “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” by Pentatonix. Eyebrows raised and mouth open in shock, I flipped to station four and was greeted by Frank Sinatra’s “I’ll be Home for Christmas.” Out of disbelief, I continued to switch back and forth between the stations just to make sure I was hearing correctly. I then realized that even though I had just been watching horror movies with friends and eating an exorbitant amount of candy with orange-colored wrappers, Christmas music was now being blared through my speakers not even a day after Halloween. This left me thinking one very obvious question: “What about Thanksgiving?”
Falling upon the third Thursday of November every year, Thanksgiving is sandwiched between the spooky season of Halloween and the festive season of holidays like Christmas and Hanukkah. Because of this, Thanksgiving seems to be the most easily forgotten. Perhaps because there are no Thanksgiving songs, presents, or lights, people can argue that it is hard to “get into the spirit” of Thanksgiving. However, that very lack of extravagant decorations and abundance of gifts is what makes Thanksgiving so important. It is a holiday centered on being grateful and appreciating family and friends. These days, it is so easy to get caught up in wanting more, doing more, and getting more. Thanksgiving serves as a day to forget about the “more” and remember what we already have, making it a holiday well worth celebrating.
Not to mention the food! Thanksgiving is known as the day to eat an inordinate amount of turkey, stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce, and pie. Whether your family cooks these classic dishes or eats a totally different meal, coming together at the table is a tradition of Thanksgiving that has lasted for years and years. Around that table, you may be sitting next to a great uncle you have never met, a friend you talk to every week, or a grandparent you see once a year; this is why Thanksgiving is so special. Whomever you spend Thanksgiving with — family, friends, pets — it is a day of togetherness and reconnection.
Yet stores, companies and restaurants continue to skip over the Thanksgiving holiday in hopes of making the most of Christmas marketing. For instance, Starbucks released their famous themed cups and drinks on November 2, just two days after Halloween. And stores such as Target and Kroger have been all decked out in Christmas decorations and products since even before Halloween. Ellie Bridges Greenfield (10), an avid lover of Thanksgiving, emphasizes, “Thanksgiving should not be forgotten by all of the commercial aspects of Christmas.”
Each year, it feels like the Christmas season starts earlier and earlier. And while I am no Scrooge, I try to refrain from listening to Christmas music and putting up any decorations until after Thanksgiving. It deserves the spotlight too!
This Thanksgiving, remember the meaning behind the holiday; talk with your family and friends (but maybe try to avoid the politics), tell stories, and eat some good food. While it may not involve all of the lights and sparkles and glitter galore, it represents a value that has remained important since the festival held in Plymouth in 1621: giving thanks for what you have been provided with.