What About Thanksgiving?

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After the excitement of Halloween dies down, November 1st brings eagerness for a whole new holiday: Christmas. Stores begin selling decorations mid-October, but for some reason, people still feel the need to finish the Halloween festivities before jumping right into Christmas. Much of the country also seems to forget that there is an entire holiday that exists between the two that I find just as exciting and important: Thanksgiving. Sometimes we see Christmas decorations pop up in stores before fall even rolls around, but the day of November 1st, Christmas kicks into high gear and everyone ignores the one last festivity waiting to be celebrated. Some motives for forgetting to celebrate Thanksgiving first include decorations, Black Friday, and the lack of festive music.

Christmas decorations go up the minute Halloween decorations can be brought down, and Thanksgiving seems to be one of the few holidays that doesn’t have decorations to mask your house in. According to a blogger for Penn State’s Rhetoric & Civic Life, “Christmas is a huge money-making business time of the year.”  Commercially, it is better for businesses to start selling Christmas decorations as soon as they can, so that more people will by them, being exposed to them for so long. This, along with the limited choice of Thanksgiving décor contribute to premature Christmas hysteria.

We’ve become so focused on our black Friday shopping for Christmas gifts, that it has taken the spotlight away from Thanksgiving Day itself. Stores are now open late Thanksgiving Day so that people begin their shopping earlier than the already set day for the shopping craze that Black Friday ensues. People decide to go wait in line to get the best deals on Christmas gifts, rather than spend time with their families on Thanksgiving Day. This one day (more recently extended to multiple) has created a distraction from the holiday that comes just between Halloween and Christmas.

Halloween has festive music, movies, and cultural activities, along with Christmas. Thanksgiving doesn’t have these aspects, or at least not at the same level. Halloween brings overwhelming amounts of scary movies, pumpkin carving, spooky music, and so much more. Christmas does the same, with catchy Christmas music, the classic movies, and deciding what presents you’re going to buy for all your friends and family. When we think about Thanksgiving we all think about food, there is no widely known music, maybe a handful of movies, but not much else. People become eager to get to Christmas so that they can continue to partake in a holiday that will provide them with more than just a day full of stuffing yourself with every comfort food imaginable.

Thanksgiving has come to be the forgotten holiday. Not that many people don’t celebrate it, but many people seem to skip right to Christmas festivities in lieu of getting excited over Thanksgiving. In response to the commercialized Christmas, and how it affects the Thanksgiving celebration, a Yahoo Answers user responds to why we skip over Thanksgiving with, “I hope they keep ‘skipping over’ Thanksgiving if that means they keep it from getting too commercial… I just like to celebrate it casually and low-key.” Thanksgiving is about spending time with family and reflecting over what you are grateful for, commercializing the holiday would make Thanksgiving seem less intimate and take away from the true meaning. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have some more decorations and excitement to get ready for Thanksgiving. Black Friday shopping isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so bracing ourselves for the early Christmas shopping panic starting Thanksgiving night is all we can do. While there may not be an abundance of traditional Thanksgiving events, one can still enjoy watching the few movies about Thanksgiving that do exist, like A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, or spending time with family and doing things together to show appreciation. Don’t get me wrong, we all love Christmas, but doesn’t Thanksgiving deserve some much-needed attention?