The forgotten middle child: Thanksgiving

More stories from Autumn Bryant


PSA: there is a holiday between Halloween and Christmas. I know, shocking. It seems as if every year poor Thanksgiving gets stuck watching its older and younger siblings get all the attention.

Halloween ends, Nov. 1 hits and all of the sudden it’s Christmas lights and “Jingle Bell Rock” without a glance in the turkey direction. Hallmark starts playing Christmas movies and Target is stocked with stockings, candy canes and fake Christmas trees.

So the great debate begins: when is it appropriate to start listening to “Silent Night,” watching “Miracle on 34th Street” and hanging stockings? The best answer is Dec. 1, now that would be the real Christmas miracle.

Thanksgiving is just as important of a holiday as Halloween and Christmas; actually, Thanksgiving is the best holiday by a landslide and it’s time to give it the recognition it deserves.

Halloween derived from ancient Celtic festivals before All Saints Day and All Souls Day; Christmas represents the birth of Christ in Christianity and Thanksgiving represents the harvest festival during pilgrimage between natives and the pilgrims. Thanksgiving has absolutely nothing to do with religion, and in a country full of other religious holidays like Hanukkah and Easter I find it hard to believe that it doesn’t get more hype, especially since it is one holiday that includes all Americans.

I know many people love Christmas time for the great movies. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good Christmas movie on a cold night, but only after Thanksgiving. Until then it’s “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” all month—surprise, there are Thanksgiving movies too.

The one thing that I will give Christmas is its abundance of songs related to the holiday, but only one month is needed before getting sick of hearing the same songs over and over again. We only need a few renditions of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” before smashing the radio.

None of the extreme Christmas lovers have me fooled. It’s not the lights, the decorations or the eggnog running through their bloodstream that gets them excited for Christmas almost two months in advance, it’s the presents. Christmas is the season of “giving,” but with a steep bill that comes with buying the love of family members.

For those who are about more than gifts, Thanksgiving is about being with family and giving thanks without having to spend a load of money on presents, because that obviously has to be saved for Black Friday shopping the next day.

Besides that, I love Thanksgiving for the weather that’s not too hot and not too cold, the time spent with family without having to buy gifts and great food that leaves me so full and tired I can’t move for a week. Thanksgiving has retained its true meaning over decades, whereas Halloween lost its Celtic traditions to Disney costumes, and half of the people who celebrate Christmas don’t even go to church for it, myself included.

So before putting up lights and buying a tree, take a glance down the calendar and remember to be thankful for everything in life, like Christmas only being a month away.