OPINION: Thanksgiving deserves respect

India Kirssin | Managing Editor

Today is November 18. That means we are roughly a month and a week-ish away from Christmas. Or, for those of you who are keeping track, exactly 37 days away. (I had to look that up because I do not keep track.)

We are also less than a week away from Thanksgiving. Six days to be exact. Six days until we get to eat whatever we want without feeling guilty, watch a few terrible football games, relive our childhood through the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and be truly blessed for all of the wonderful things we have in life. If you can’t tell, I love Thanksgiving. And I know saying this is probably treason, but I love Thanksgiving more than Christmas.

Every year for Thanksgiving my entire family travels and gets together. Some years our Thanksgiving celebrations are in Hilton Head, some years they are in Charlottesville, Virginia, some years they are in Disney. One year we went to the Dominican Republic. It really just depends. Thanksgiving is so special to me because my family has started and stuck with this tradition since before I was born. We always make sure we are together to enjoy each other’s company and physically be able to see a few of the many things for which we are thankful.

Another reason I love it so much is because my aunt and uncle cook dinner. And when I say cook, I mean cook. There are almost 20 of us to feed and they go all out. I have fond memories every year of myself and my cousins helping Uncle Jay and Aunt Karen peel carrots and potatoes. It’s something I look forward to year round.

Lately though, it feels like we have fast-forwarded through the Thanksgiving festivities and dived head-first into Christmas. Halloween ends and BAM, Christmas begins. I know there is no “Thanksgiving music,” and Christmas music is fun and catchy, and Christmas sweaters and traditions are cheerful and festive. But slow down a little bit.

I like for things to have a natural progression. Halloween ends, we get geared up for Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving ends and the Christmas celebrations can begin. It’s pretty logical when you look at the order of holidays on the calendar. I just want each holiday do have their own amount of observation and respect.

I am not trying to hate on people who play Christmas music the day after Halloween. It just feels like the importance of Thanksgiving has continued to get watered down as Christmas becomes more and more commercialized. Look at Black Friday. It now starts Thanksgiving night and consists of people shopping, and sometimes fighting, over material items when they should be at home enjoying food and family.

Thanksgiving is about looking back and being grateful for all our country, community and family has survived. It is about looking forward and knowing we will be grateful for so much more the next year because of the new blessings that will be added to our lives. Although it gets overlooked, its meaning has not been watered down, and this in itself is reason to celebrate. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, filled with great food and company. After next week, I will join you in the Christmas hype. But not until then.

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