The Forgotten Holiday

Maggie Lober, Staff Writer

I wake up in bed: 11 am, November 1st. It’s later than usual, but somehow I am still exhausted. Evidence of the previous night’s festivities is everywhere, including my face. Pooled beneath my drooping eyes is the stubborn mascara that my tired hands had not adequately removed the night before. My stomach aches from nutrient deprivation, while my head is still abuzz with sugar. The end of Halloween, however, doesn’t sink in until I begin to scroll through Instagram, and am stunned, no aghast, at what I find. A shriek rises in my throat as I survey the appalling scene. There, among the profusion of Halloween posts is a Christmas ad. “Couples PJs 50% off” the wretched abomination reads, showing a picture of a couple in, as promised, matching CHRISTMAS pajamas drinking hot chocolate on the couch. Moved to rage I keep scrolling down my feed but eventually must turn away in disgust, as the repugnant content only continues. 

Now I know what you’re thinking: Maggie, why do you despise Christmas? What childhood trauma caused this near Grinch-like mindset of yours? But, honestly, I do not hate Christmas. In fact, it is one of my favorite holidays. However, by celebrating Christmas so early, we neglect possibly the greatest holiday of all time: Thanksgiving. Who doesn’t love relaxing with a book in the fall air? Or eating way too much stuffing and turkey? Or watching your family argue over politics (socially distanced of course)? Or settling down in front of the TV to watch your favorite Dallas Football team lose? Thanksgiving has something for everyone. Offering a wide range of benefits and blessings, Thanksgiving must be remembered and celebrated as more than the speed bump to Christmas’s highway. 

Thanksgiving is the most underrated holiday. Rooted in the ideals of bringing people together and being grateful, the celebration is often associated with sentimental nonsense and overly affectionate relatives. Accordingly, many of the gifts granted to us by the holiday go unnoticed. Firstly, Thanksgiving offers a much-needed break from the stress of school. At this point in the year, nearing the end of the semester, many classes are ramping up the workload, and students often feel overwhelmed. Thanksgiving break is the light on the horizon, offering tranquility and pie. Secondly, while you may not receive gifts, you also don’t have to spend money on or stress about the perfect presents for your loved ones. Holiday shopping is another burden, although an admittedly enjoyable one, that Thanksgiving alleviates. Finally, the food: must I say anything else? OK, I will. The sheer abundance of food– food that is often only seen once a year– makes Thanksgiving possibly the best holiday ever. Each family may have their own traditions, but something about the Thanksgiving meal just brings back memories (and is absolutely delicious to boot!). However, Thanksgiving is about more than just the food. The holiday gives us so much; the least we can do is no let it go by unnoticed. 

Thanksgiving offers us so many blessings, and by neglecting it, we play into the hands of corporate interests. I know this took a bit of a turn, but hear me out. Christmas is the biggest event of the year for the majority of retailers, businesses, and corporations. The longer the Christmas season lasts, the more business they get, and the more money they make. This may just sound like good business, but consider this point: in so doing, they neglect Thanksgiving as a whole, EXCEPT for Black Friday. Corporations silence and condemn the holiday in favor of Christmas, but then suddenly remember when it benefits them. All of the sudden, my family is more focused on Black Friday shopping than helping me bake and eat pie. These corporations are taking advantage of our Christmas and shopping fever, but do not care about the culture of gratitude that Thanksgiving instills. We are money to them, and by eradicating Thanksgiving in favor of Christmas, we are playing right into their hands. 

In conclusion, the importance of Thanksgiving is unreckonable. The break from school, the luxury of saving money, the food, and the ideals of gratitude and camaraderie all make up Thanksgiving Culture– a culture too valuable to lose. I, for one, cannot wait to grab a book, a sweater, and some hot apple cider and relax in a chair six feet away from my grandma. Thanksgiving is the best holiday, but it is so often overlooked. We cannot let Thanksgiving be taken advantage of. We cannot let corporate interests interfere with the preservation and enjoyment of Thanksgiving. Yes, Christmas is right around the bend, but would it kill you to save the Mariah Carey one more week?