By Yuika Yoshida.
As Halloween comes to a close, we’re nearing that time of year again: the undermining of Thanksgiving. Department stores have already begun the process of stringing up festive lights, and commercials for annual Christmas sales have no doubt made their way onto every channel by now. Thanksgiving endures the unfortunate luck of being placed in-between the two most popular holidays, making it the overshadowed middle child of the holiday season. The simple fact is that Thanksgiving doesn’t possess the charming gift-exchanging of Christmas, or the sugar-induced frights of Halloween we all know and love. It’s a humbler celebration with more traditional morals. Every year, these understated traits that make Thanksgiving so great fly under the radar of the general public just because it’s not the flashiest holiday. Even with the constant overlooking, Thanksgiving has been celebrated time and again to remind everyone of what’s really important.
More often than not, the first thing that comes to mind when Thanksgiving’s brought up is the image of a bountiful table of steaming homemade (or store-bought) food…which is rightfully so! With the age of late night take-outs and fast food that we live in, it’s always nice to take a moment to slow down and enjoy a hearty meal that was made with care. Going to bed with an appetite satisfied by creamy mashed potatoes and flaky pumpkin pie is arguably the best feeling. It even makes up for the fact that sweatpants are going to be the only comfortable things to wear for the next few days.
What really deters people from enjoying this family-centered occasion is ironically the prospect of coming to sit down with their families. Whether it’s a nosy aunt, or a bunch of screaming cousins that you didn’t even know you had, opinions are bound to clash at the dinner table and develop into considerably awkward arguments. But there are the good moments: laughter being shared with family members that are only seen a few times a year, gathering in front of the TV to watch the Thanksgiving Day parade, and just being in good company knowing others are going through much worse. The love that’s shared between family members make those uncomfortable dinner table conversations a little more bearable.
All people are going through different situations across the globe, but Thanksgiving sets that aside to bring up the feeling of widespread camaraderie. It prompts people to help those in need, as well as letting those already in our lives know that we’re grateful for having them. The simplest things that are usually taken for granted suddenly feel like the privileges that they are. Though things like family and friends should be appreciated everyday, we’re lucky enough to have a holiday that solely highlights the importance of gratitude. Thanksgiving is a great time to give back to the community, and I encourage everyone to volunteer at a soup kitchen or participate in a local food drive so others can have a nice Thanksgiving as well.