Opinion: Thanksgiving deserves more love


Austin Li

Despite it being November, Christmas decorations crowd the front of grocery stores instead of Thanksgiving decorations.

I want you to picture this. It’s Halloween night, and the clock strikes 12, indicating the beginning of November. You lie in bed scrolling through social media apps such as Tik Tok and Instagram only to see people posting about their excitement for the holiday season using Christmas countdowns and festive infographics. The next morning, on your way to go to your local grocery, you notice your neighbors’ houses already covered in Christmas lights. Once you arrive, you hear “It’s Beginning to Look like Christmas” playing through the speakers and a plethora of Christmas decorations all throughout the store. As you continue walking around, you begin to question why the decorations are out so early, almost two months before the actual holiday. 

As a result of being wedged between the cheesy ghoulishness of Halloween and the commercialism of Christmas, Thanksgiving has become a lost holiday. Oftentimes, people overlook it during their excitement for the holiday season, and to many, the fourth Thursday of November simply serves as an excuse to go on break and a filler holiday before the real excitement of December. 

Now don’t get me wrong. By no means is Thanksgiving my favorite holiday, and I’m all for the festivities of the Christmas season. I love the pageantries of Christ’s birth, the constant caroling of Christmas songs, and the suspense before opening presents. However, all of that can be saved for December – after Thanksgiving has been celebrated. 

The reasoning behind this lack of excitement for Thanksgiving, especially for younger generations, is the little representation Thanksgiving gets in American popular culture. For instance, I can think of dozens of Halloween and Christmas-themed movies. Here’s a list of 47 that are on Netflix alone. On the contrary, when it comes to Thanksgiving movies, there are really only two or three that anyone knows about. 

In addition, the history surrounding Turkey Day makes it difficult to approach and thus integrate into popular culture. The history definitely isn’t something that should be forgotten. However, it is possible to celebrate the holiday without condoning its unacceptable origin. Thanksgiving is a day for people to celebrate and appreciate their loved ones and reflect on everything they are grateful for.

Some of my best memories of family and friends were created during Thanksgiving break, and it’s a shame that a holiday that emphasizes the noble characteristics of charity and goodness gets short end of the stick when it comes to holiday love. 

Additionally, Thanksgiving is one of the few holidays where you can really learn more about not only your personal culture but other cultures around you. For instance, I’ve spent almost every Thanksgiving with a collection of my family and friends who come from many different backgrounds. Each year, I am exposed to various new cuisines and dishes, an experience that has truly widened my perspective of the world and has led to a deeper appreciation of different cultures. 

Once again, in no sense do I urge people to forget the horrible atrocities committed during the first Thanksgiving. Though the holiday isn’t really rooted in popular culture, I strongly encourage people to still celebrate it fully and take it as an opportunity to really express their gratitude to loved ones.