Thanksgiving the Forgotten Holiday


Gabby Comer, Editor at Large

After Halloween, America seems to split into two different kinds of people. The people that put away Halloween decorations and resist the impending Christmas season.  Then there are the people who get fully decked out for Christmas on November 1st. November always seems to be the in-between month, but what about Thanksgiving?

One fascinating thing about Thanksgiving is that it was a federal holiday before Christmas. George Washington declared November 26th as a national day of thanks, and Christmas did not become a federal holiday until after the Civil War to unite the North and the South. 

Another interesting component to all of this is that Christmas is a religious holiday, but Thanksgiving is not. In my mind, I would think that it would draw more people since Thanksgiving is not affiliated with any religion. Of course, Christmas is highly commercialized, and it has become just as much of a secular holiday with everyone giving gifts no matter their religious affiliation. 

You can go to any store and immediately see Christmas decorations with a tiny section of fall and Thanksgiving items. Many media outlets and stores are advertising that Christmas gifts should be bought now for fear of short supply come December. Starbucks already has its holiday drinks and treats that once used to wait until Thanksgiving, but now you can get your peppermint coffee and cranberry blitzes on November 1st. 

Thanksgiving is not a commercialized holiday as much as Christmas, and there may be some reasons for that. It doesn’t have any staple items that are in “retailer territory.” These days it seems Black Friday overtakes Thanksgiving because it almost starts before Thanksgiving. Black Friday sends people out to wait in line instead of being with their families. Has the commercialization of Christmas and gift-giving taken over the day once intended for thanks? 

Whatever the reasons, Thanksgiving seems to keep falling in the shadows of Christmas as the years go on.  One important lesson we have learned from the pandemic is to be grateful for what we have and to appreciate the time we have now. What if we took a step back and didn’t rush through Thanksgiving and were grateful for our day of thanks?