Give Thanksgiving a Chance
Caroline Haynes, Staff Writer
"Jingle Bells, Jingle bells… Jingle all the way..."
Oh, can’t you just smell the fresh snow? Actually, we never get any of that anyways.
It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, and you’re already singing Christmas music!?! Does stuffing mean nothing to you? Or being thankful for other people? (Let’s focus on the stuffing here people; that’s the important part). I mean, for Heaven’s sake - It’s a holiday dedicated to stuffing your face with as much pumpkin pie as you can possibly fit in your mouth. After all, there’s a reason why it’s called a pie hole. Everyone gets a week off to eat enough to feed several small countries, kick back their feet and watch a football game (Go Buckeyes!), and be thankful for the things around them. What’s not to love? Why does everyone seem to leapfrog from Halloween to Christmas, and totally skip Thanksgiving?
Well, folks, I had a list. One that I started coming up with when I was very small.
The Day of the Turkey is Upon Us
1. First off - this is mainly a problem with just about every holiday - you have to corral all your relatives into one place and keep them there. If you are a part of a small family, perhaps it isn’t so hard, but the larger your family is, the harder it is to keep them all together in one spot. It’s like holding a bag of sand, but there are too many holes to keep it all in. Half the time, they’ve started a riot so chaotic that you want to curl up in a ball in a corner of your room, but then you realize that your parents decided that the best way to contain the small mob of little kids was to store them in your room. Honestly, sometimes I think that Thanksgiving break is more stressful than school.
2. I also have a bone to pick with the Thanksgiving turkey (no pun intended.) My Aunt Jennifer was convinced that her dressing for the turkey was the best, and anyone who said otherwise would get shoved into the oven alongside the overcooked turkey. I have to hand it to her though, I think that’s how I lost my first tooth. Besides, the more turkey I took, the less stuffing I had to eat. I was convinced that it was made out of pig guts (what on earth else could it have been made of? Breadcrumbs?) And something about the way the cranberry sauce jiggled always seemed morally wrong. The more I scouted out the view from my high chair prison, the more dismal my situation became.
3. Finally, there aren’t any gifts at the end. For all the trouble people get into trying to have a ‘proper’ Thanksgiving, you honestly shouldn’t just get a gift, but a medal. The mental stress of Thanksgiving combined with the amount of cooking required is crazy. According to the collaborators of seriouseats.com, it usually takes 2-3 days when planned, and some even become more elaborate to start 2 weeks in advance. So why on earth do we have Thanksgiving again?
Well, if you really think about it, Christmas and Thanksgiving really aren’t that much different. Both include joy (hopefully), good food, and time with loved ones. There’s also the flip side of that: the stress of multiple days of cooking, a small mob of relatives, shopping for the holidays, etc. Either can really be a total nightmare, a joy, or somewhere in between.
So what’s the big difference between the two? Christmas is about receiving and giving gifts, while Thanksgiving is about being thankful for the ones we’ve already received. Maybe that’s why folks like to skip it; we’ve seen and played around with our gifts that we’ve already been given, they aren’t anything new. But then, are we truly using them to their full potential?
Take it this way. When you were younger, did you ever have a toy or item that you loved to play with? After a while, you lost interest. A couple of years later, you stumble upon this toy again, and can’t believe that you haven’t seen the value of this toy the whole time. Sometimes, to enjoy something to its full potential, you have to step back and look at it from a different point of view. This makes the receiving of new gifts even sweeter because now you don’t just enjoy them, you savor them. The best gifts are those that have been turned over and over again by the receiver, looked at and appreciated in new ways. These gifts are based on their meaning to the receiver of the gift, not their monetary value. They are something that gets better with time. Part of good gift-giving is how the receiver takes the gift, and how they enjoy it. Take Christ’s death on the Cross; we’ve taken the gift, but we rarely think about it. If anything, I kind of ignore it. But to truly appreciate this gift, you have to look at it from several different angles. In order to truly appreciate this gift, you must never really be able to ‘get over’ the death of Christ.
I guess my question for you this season is, how would your life change if you looked at the gifts you have already, but from a new perspective? What if instead of being more grateful, you were grateful in a different way?