On November 1st, I heard the first Christmas carol of 2018, and I was disappointed. Nothing is more upsetting than getting really excited for your favorite holiday, and having everyone around you ruin it by being more excited for a holiday that comes after it. (That feeling of disappointment only grows if you don't even celebrate the holiday everyone is so pumped for.) I get it, with the end of Halloween, people are looking for the next super fun thing, but that thing should not be Christmas. Thanksgiving, at least in America, is iconic, and it opens so many doors for creativity and joy. Here are just a few.
1. It's basically a celebration of fall.
Fall, as a season, is really underrated. It's like the whole three months are defined by either Halloween or the gross weather that occurs before it's finally wintertime. Fall is so much more though. Thanksgiving is a time that you can really appreciate the season, decorating with gourds and leaves and pumpkins that don't have weird faces carved into them. You can really step outside and breathe in the November air for a second. November is practically defined by Thanksgiving, so why not just appreciate it for what it is?
2. The food is better than literally any other holiday. Just try to argue.
Thanksgiving is literally based around food. Like, the purpose of the holiday is to eat delicious things. How can you possibly say no to that? Whereas Halloween and Christmas are all about the sweets, Thanksgiving understands that real good food is well rounded. It conquers both sweet and savory food categories. You get turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and all that other good stuff as an entrée, and then there's a whole dessert after. And, let's face it, a good slice of apple or pumpkin pie is way better than any other dessert, because it makes you feel at home.
3. It's just as family/friend based as Christmas.
Sure, Christmas may be defined by spending time with family, but Thanksgiving is too, and honestly even more so. Not only do you get to reunite with the family you barely ever get to see, you probably also get to take away a couple hilarious anecdotes from dinner. And of course, Thanksgiving isn't just family based, it's also the first opportunity college students get to see their friends from back home. Friendsgiving is fun for just about everyone, and it allows for a nice break from the family drama.
4. Black Friday is possibly the most American event ever, and it's an official kickoff for Christmas season.
Y'all want to know the real kickoff for the holiday season? Nothing screams Christmas like shopping for gifts, and that's what Black Friday is all about. Black Friday is the first day that people really start thinking about Christmas gifts. If you're not shopping for the holidays, you're probably still getting something from the huge sales. At the very least you'll catch a deal online on Cyber Monday. Thanksgiving is all about America after all, and what's more American than good old-fashioned capitalism.
5. You still get the extra day off from school/work.
A couple of days ago in class my professor mentioned that our university never used to give the Wednesday before Thanksgiving off, but people would skip classes anyways, so the administration made it official. Ironically, now people just skip the whole week. The point is, whether you're purposely missing class or getting let off early, you still get some wonderful time to yourself at home.
6. Thanksgiving gets a whole parade to itself. Beat that.
Christmas may have music, but does it have a whole parade to itself? I mean sure, there'll be the odd celebration or two, but the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is a tradition in itself, much like the fireworks on Fourth of July or New Year's Eve.
7. Everyone in America can celebrate Thanksgiving. It's completely nonexclusive.
Lastly, Thanksgiving is open to all Americans. Although my own family is one made of mainly immigrants, we prize Thanksgiving because it puts us on the same level as any other American citizen. Christmas is, honestly, a little closed off to those of us who are distinctly non-Christian, and although the blatant commercialism is pretty enjoyable to take part in, it's still not fully accessible. As a Jew, it's important to me that I'm a part of the nation I live in, not ostracized in any way from being a part of it's community. Although Christmas is certainly festive, Thanksgiving represents much more to me, as a first generation American Jew, than any other day.