June 13, 2024

Juicy turkey, buttered potatoes, and cloud-like bread rolls as far as the eye can see. Sounds like Thanksgiving, right?

Wrong.

While for many, this is the reality of their Thanksgiving meals, others are resigned to a meal consisting of a sinewy turkey, so dry that it could compete against the Sahara desert for lack of moisture and win, cranberry sauce so sour your face will be stuck in a surprised O for the rest of supper, and mashed potatoes and gravy so lumpy that eating it feels more like a game of minesweeper than a culinary experience.

But the holiday’s origins are a bigger problem than the poorly prepared dinner. Many unaware of Thanksgiving’s roots see it as a way to get together with family, enjoy a gluttonous meal, slip into a food coma, and watch some good football.

But underneath it all is a history of betrayal, deceit, and horrors that we should be aware of. Contrary to what many people still believe, the pilgrims and the Native Americans did not come together in harmony to share a meal.

Thanksgiving is a day meant for cherishing your family and, as suggested by the name itself, giving thanks. But why do we have to limit ourselves to only giving thanks once a year on a day that hardly has any significance other than being the societally appropriate day for finally putting up the Christmas tree?

Labeling Thanksgiving as a day to give thanks for all we have makes it seem like we don’t need to give thanks any other day. But that’s not the case. Every day, every meal, we should give thanks for our meals, our families, our friends, and everything we enjoy and love.

The commercialization of Thanksgiving has also been problematic for years. While it still may not be as commercialized as Christmas or Valentine’s day or even Easter, I think that Thanksgiving’s commercialization is more problematic than them all.

Thanksgiving was created as a day to give thanks, yet floods of Americans storm stores the day after Thanksgiving, prepared to shell out hundreds of dollars for items they simply can’t live without. In recent years, Black Friday has begun eclipsing Thanksgiving as the holiday many Americans look forward to. They leave the dinner table early to get online to check deals; instead of praying to give thanks, they silently strategize, determining which stores they have to hit first to get all the best and cheapest items on sale.

A holiday originally meant for giving thanks and enjoying what we have without pining for more has now become a symbol of decadence and overindulgence.

While Thanksgiving as an idea, a day when families come together to give thanks and find love with that which they have, is a noble idea, the core values of this holiday have been lost over the ages. Now, this day stands for nothing more than a too-large meal and a holiday built upon the bones of America’s past wrongdoings, and that needs to change.

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