As we polish off the last of our Thanksgiving leftovers and recover from our food comas, many of us rush into pulling out dusty Christmas decorations a whole month in advance.
But why? What’s the point in moving on so fast from the greatest holiday in our country? Yes, I said it, so turn down the Mariah Carey music and put down the eggnog, because Thanksgiving is the true holiday we should be obsessed about.
An aspect of turkey day that is overlooked and underappreciated is the simplicity that is associated with the holiday. Whereas Christmas often feels like a dragged-out celebration, Thanksgiving is all about one glorious meal with family.
There are not any excessive amounts of stress that comes with shopping and decorating that is added on top of a work or school schedule. Instead, Thanksgiving is usually a five-day weekend with plenty of time to prepare the main meal on Thursday.
Speaking of which, Thanksgiving break comes at the best time for students to have their first relaxing stretch away from the burdens of homework and tests. Whether at home or on campus, it’s the perfect time for students to decompress and recharge before finals arrive in December. This is especially beneficial for anyone feeling homesick, as seeing family and friends for the long weekend can be rejuvenating.
But most of all, the manner in which Thanksgiving is celebrated remains true to its tradition, while many of us have lost the true spirit of Christmas.
Corporations and the media have commercialized the meaning of Christmas; no longer is it seen as just a religious holiday, it’s about mobbing into shopping malls with hoards of desperate people looking to score the best presents for their family. How is that so enjoyable for anyone? Especially for college students, who typically don’t have a substantial source of income to buy a lot of gifts.
Thanksgiving, on the other hand, has always been about family traditions and being thankful for our friends and loved ones. It’s a more personal holiday that allows for a time of reflection and display of gratitude for all the great people in our lives.
And, of course, with tradition comes the delicious food that is involved with Thanksgiving. Turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, casseroles and pie are all household staples on the last Thursday of November. Whereas Christmas is usually a gingerbread and peppermint overkill, Thanksgiving is the time to enjoy a home cooked meal followed by an array of American desserts.
Thanksgiving is also a time for Gonzaga University students to cheer on their Zags basketball team before the traditional football games begin.
The previous two years have been kind to the Bulldogs; a win over the Oregon Ducks in 2019 was followed by a resounding victory over the Kansas Jayhawks in 2020. The early morning tip-offs are undesirable but seeing GU win on a big stage sets the tone for the rest of the holiday.
Between the celebration and tradition, there just isn’t a holiday that can compete with Thanksgiving, especially not the drama-filled frenzy that is Christmas. Sure, the exchange of gifts is nice, but I for one do not enjoy the financial burdens and stress that is involved, nor would I expect anyone to go through this for me.
Spending time with family is a present in and of itself. And who doesn’t enjoy stuffing their faces with food and not feeling ashamed?