Claire Voltarel, Campus Carrier Staff Writer
Candy and costumes to mistletoe and presents: Thanksgiving falls between arguably some of the most popular holidays of the year. Many begin Christmas tunes the day after Halloween; even Black Friday sales begin as early as 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving day. This unfortunate positioning buries the feast under the other holiday commercialism, and Thanksgiving come and goes like the food on our plates. As one of the few holidays dedicated to ideals and not objects, we should better appreciate the day stuffed with meals and memories.
Thanksgiving celebrates three of the most American favorites we value to this day: food, family and relaxation. While each household participates in their own way, these foundations mostly remain the same. The day’s purpose is to gather around a table with loved ones, sharing in laughter and comfort food. Designated members sweat in the kitchen to provide the meal all will be grateful for, along with each other’s company.
In contrast, Christmas has evolved to emphasize materialism (not to sound like Charlie Brown). The best gifts, the brightest decorations and the most spirit are generated via one source: money. The pressure to give, or not to give gifts, overwhelms the historical or religious morality and spirit intended at Christmas’s core. Thanksgiving, while having a history, has evolved to give an opportunity to be grateful. Instead of Beats by Dr. Dre or Samsung Virtual Reality, we give thanks.
This is not to say we do not have the capacity to appreciate a day without material items. For example, Easter is another highly ranked and practiced holiday in the U.S. Easter has traditions involving eggs and candy, but the core values appreciated are moral or religious.
However, Easter does not lie between too large holidays. Its light can shine in late April on its own time. There is no “St. Patrick’s Day Season” consuming the month with stress of preparation. Thanksgiving could be given the life it deserves if it fell during another season.
But alas, history cannot be rewritten. So, this Thanksgiving, during the whopping three days we are given to celebrate it, think about the gifts you want to receive that are not objects; then give those gifts back to those at your dinner table.
Connect back with friends on campus to remind them of your appreciation for their love and support. Reach out to relatives who could not make your feast and let them know you are grateful for them, regardless of their presence. Finally, stuff your bellies with as much turkey and mashed potatoes as possible. We have to make it through two more weeks of D-Hall afterwards.