Be thankful and gobble up the spirit of Thanksgiving

Halloween weekend has come and gone. Barely there costumes and piles of candy (among other things) are no longer in our dreams or mantra to get us through the school week. Instead of moving on to the next holiday, which would be Thanksgiving, the entire campus has gone Christmas crazy. The talk in classrooms and on all social media forums is of Christmas music, Christmas decorations and Christmas presents. Even as I write this article, I am listening to Christmas music and drinking hot cocoa. While I am not opposed to Starbucks switching its seasonal drink choice away from the favored pumpkin spice latte to the peppermint mocha, I am lost in the dash to get to Christmas.

Sandwiched somewhere between Halloween and Christmas is a Thursday holiday that is slowly becoming more minuscule in the minds of millions of Americans— Thanksgiving. If you search hard, you might find a  small selection of Thanksgiving cards, autumn decorations and a turkey platter amid the aisles and aisles of Halloween costumes, Christmas decorations and toys. For some, Thanksgiving is a day to organize their gift lists prior to a day of marathon Christmas shopping. Somehow our perception of Thanksgiving has gone askew.

What happened to Thanksgiving? I understand there are hardly any Thanksgiving songs or movies, but why is it this holiday gets forgotten in pop culture? Is it because we have trouble finding things to be thankful for? Is it because we have forgotten why we celebrate it? Or is it simply because it isn’t as “fun” of a holiday when compared to the others?

Consequently, we hurdle over a day of being thankful and look forward to a holiday season that has, unfortunately, turned into one of wanting. I’m trying as hard as possible not to sound like some sappy middle-aged Bible study teacher or mother, but how is it that we can’t take time to be thankful? As college students we have many things to be thankful for. There is the classmate who helped you with your homework, the relative who visited and took you out to dinner and the TAs and professors who you actually understood. You could even be thankful for your crazy roommate who gives you endless stories to share. Given that there is plenty to be thankful for on campus, perhaps we forget Thanksgiving because we don’t know why it is a holidy.

I think the main reason why Thanksgiving is skipped in the winter holiday countdown is simply because it isn’t a “fun” holiday. It requires a trip back home to relatives who ask you questions that you still don’t know answers to, such as “What are you doing with your life?” It also means going back to your hometown to hear how everyone else loves their college campus, while you bite your tongue to refrain from shouting that Madison is the best school. Even the color tones of Thanksgiving are a dull mix of yellows and browns.

While it might seem difficult to find a reason to remember Thanksgiving, I think it is an important holiday. It gives us a reason to go home, forget school and come back to campus with Tupperware containers full of leftovers. If that isn’t a good enough reason to celebrate, I don’t know what is.

Lilly is a freshman writer for The Daily Cardinal. Do you agree or disagree with her sentiment about Christmas decorations appearing already? We’d like to hear your take on Thanksgiving. Please send all feedback to opinion@dailycardinal.com.

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