Last year, my fellow writer earnestly asked us all, “Can We Save Thanksgiving?” Well, given that people again started tweeting the Christmas tree emoji on November 1st, apparently the answer was, and is, no. But because I believe in second chances (just ask my two-times ex-boyfriend), I’m here to again implore you to please, please stop short-changing Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is hands down my favorite holiday and yes, I know that’s sort of weird. I mean, there are no costumes like Halloween or presents like Christmas. But while it may not be sexy or full of gifts, Thanksgiving is instead, for me anyway, about three things I hold near and dear to my heart – food, family, and football.
Let’s start where most good things do, with the food. Now, I’m loathe to admit this, because I can already see the comments calling me anti-American, but I just don’t like red meat. It’s not that I’m all like “save the cows;” I legitimately just don’t care for it. Now and again, I’ll order a small steak or eat a ground beef taco, but normally, it’s just not my jam. Unfortunately (for me and the cows, anyway), I’m the only person in my family that feels this way. Which means that a giant slab of meat is the entree at every single holiday. Every one except Thanksgiving, that is. I literally fast for three days in anticipation of white meat turkey. And don’t even get me started on the chestnut stuffing. Or the pies. Oh, the pies. You people can have all of the prime rib on Christmas or ham on Easter, just leave me be with my Thanksgiving dinner of tryptophan, carbs, and fruit-flavored sugar pastries.
And then there’s football and family, which for me are tied together on Thanksgiving. Now, my entire extended family lives within 15 minutes of me and while I do love them…frankly, I see those motherfuckers way more than is acceptable. Like all the time. Seriously, my cousin Jill getting a 1% raise at her mind-numbingly boring data entry job is an excuse for a family dinner. But even though I could definitely do without yet another round of family togetherness, there is something special about Thanksgiving. Those of us that are football fans gather before dinner to watch the early game, and we stay until the end of the late game, with the rest of the fam filtering in for dinner, which has the mid-day game playing in the background. And sometimes, if the games stink and the weather’s nice, there may even be a cheesy, Friends style football game in the yard. It’s cheesy and corny…and I absolutely love it.
But while Thanksgiving the day clearly isn’t going anywhere, Thanksgiving the season is definitely in danger. Look around you – do you see any pumpkins or pilgrim hats? Likely not. And that’s because the season is disappearing, in favor of a never-ending Christmas. As Lucy says to dear Chuck in A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving: “Isn’t it peculiar, Charlie Brown, how some traditions just slowly fade away?” And that, my friends, is what is happening to Thanksgiving.
Now, I understand that waiting to start Christmas until after Thanksgiving is nearly impossible in terms of stores, because retailers need to extend the holiday shopping season for as long as possible in order to be successful. I get that. So instead, I’m begging you, the people of the internet. While we can’t stop the folks at Target from putting up the fake Christmas trees on November 1st, can we hold off on the Christmas posts and yard decorations until November 25th? Please? Because as I stuff my face with stuffing, I remember the profound words of Charlie Brown’s sister, Marcy:
But Thanksgiving is more than eating, Chuck. You heard what Linus was saying out there. Those pilgrims were thankful for what had happened to them, and we should be thankful, too. We should just be thankful for being together. I think that’s what they mean by Thanksgiving, Charlie Brown..
While Thanksgiving is more than eating, it is a sad reality that there are families in this country who cannot afford a Thanksgiving meal. You can help them out by donating to your local food bank this Thanksgiving season, because the best way to celebrate all that you have is by sharing with someone in need.
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