When I started to think about what I was going to write this weekend, I thought for sure this post would be titled “War On Thanksgiving”. I thought it was a oh so clever twist on the so-called War On Christmas and the observation that it’s really Thanksgiving that is drawing the societal short straw. Unfortunately, a Google search reveals that this is not clever at all and that many, many people have noticed the consumerism of Christmas encroaching on the Thanksgiving holiday (K-Mart opening on 6 a.m., that’s right, a.m. as in morning, on Thanksgiving must have given it away!).
So instead of whining about Wal-Mart and Best Buy and people who for some reason think elbowing their way through crowds for “bargains” on electronics is good sport, I thought I would write a positive post about what makes Thanksgiving so great (right there with Christmas in my opinion):
- Its simplicity. It’s just a holiday where we give thanks for the people and things we have. That’s all. It doesn’t say what things you should appreciate. It doesn’t tell you that you should get new things to celebrate or give to others. It’s just a celebration for what we have.
- It’s all American. You want to know who celebrates Thanksgiving? The United States and Canada. That’s it.* With that being the case, it would seem that we should take some national pride in this holiday. (*Yes, if you research Thanksgiving, you will see that other countries celebrate holidays they may call Thanksgiving. But I think you will find those have more in common with our Memorial Day or Independence Day than our Thanksgiving.)
- It’s inclusive. Anybody can give thanks to the people and things we have. It’s not a religious holiday (though it can be if you want). It’s not a holiday just for a certain subsection of the people. It’s a holiday for all of us.
- Its food. Sure, other holidays have food. Your 4th of July hot dogs, your Halloween candy, your Christmas ham and cookies. But the food we have for those holidays we eat all the time. But Thanksgiving has food that if not exclusive to it, it’s at least rare we eat outside of that holiday. Turkey. Not deli turkey, but whole turkey (roast it, fry it, whatever, it’s all good!). Stuffing. Cranberry sauce. Sweet potatoes with marshmallows. Green bean casserole (may be the only reason condensed mushroom soup and French’s french fried onions still exist). Pumpkin pie!
- Football. The NFL has its now traditional three games on Thanksgiving. I prefer college football over NFL football, but Thanksgiving is the rare day where I will usually catch a little of the NFL. But for college football, it’s like an extended weekend of football! Starting on Thursday night with the “Egg Bowl” rivalry between Ole Miss and Mississippi State, right through Friday and Saturday, it’s college football galore.
So why not instead of going into the hustle and bustle of shopping and fighting with strangers this next weekend, enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday relaxing with your family and friends and appreciate those we know and love? Trust me, the stores aren’t going to give up on you if you don’t show up on Black Thursday/Friday! Happy Thanksgiving!