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What about Thanksgiving?

| Thursday, November 14, 2019

With the first real snow on Monday and about two weeks until Thanksgiving Break, we are in the full swing of the holiday season. I always find myself getting so excited once October hits because there is still time to prepare for Halloween and embrace the fall season. But every year, without fail, once Halloween is over, people jump straight to anticipating Christmas. What about Thanksgiving?

Yes, I may be biased in writing this column because Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, but I’m really not okay with people neglecting a holiday that centers on food, family and gratitude. But, I also recognize that Thanksgiving isn’t perfect. There is the perspective that it portrays those who celebrate as greedy and selfish because of the overwhelming amount of food that every family in the United States produces on Thanksgiving Day. Don’t even get me started about Black Friday sales. That’s not what Thanksgiving is supposed to be about.

After coming to college, I’ve realized that Thanksgiving doesn’t take shape for everyone the way that it takes shape for me (or at least how it turned out before I came to Indiana from California and decided to spend Thanksgivings in South Bend while in college). I realize that families come in all different shapes and sizes and that they may be very spread out geographically as well. While I am a classic turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and stuffing followed by all the pie type of gal, I won’t harp on those who make foods that diverge from these. Every family has its own traditions, and the less turkeys eaten on Thanksgiving, the better it is for our planet.

What I will get mad about is the glazing over of the gratitude aspect of this holiday. Yes, Halloween may be more exciting when you get to plan how many costumes you can wear with the anticipation of two more holidays to follow. But #spooky season can get dark and scary real fast. And we can’t just skip from scary to merry! If anything, Thanksgiving can provide a great transition period for us in preparation for the Christmas season (yes, Advent does this too). But before receiving new gifts or a new year of possibilities, we must be grateful for the ones that we already have.

With dormwide potlucks and countless friendsgivings, there is still opportunity to pause and reflect on the many things we have to be grateful for. These are also chances to refine your recipes for the big day (Christmas).

Before we know it, 2020 and the remaining stretch of a South Bend winter will be upon us. I think we should enjoy every little moment as much as possible up until then. So while you’re blasting “All I Want for Christmas” and spending your remaining Flex Points on Starbucks’ peppermint mochas, try to count your blessings and practice gratitude. Let’s not lose Thanksgiving between Halloween and Christmas.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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