It’s early November and everywhere I turn, I see signs of Christmas: an overabundance of Christmas commercials, select radio stations have switched over to Christmas carols already, ABC Family has begun counting down to its 25 Days of Christmas by showing the movies that they are showing for 25 Days of Christmas, and I even saw a Santa perched on someone’s front door yesterday. Every time that I witness one of these premature signs of the holiday season, I can’t help but feel so badly for Thanksgiving. Granted, this poor, neglected holiday doesn’t pack the same money-making punch as Christmas but that doesn’t mean that we should start celebrating it in early November and forget about the magnificence of Thanksgiving. Perhaps society just needs me to help remind them why Thanksgiving is so awesome and then they’ll stop ignoring it in favor of a two-month celebration of Christmas.
The food: Oh my word, the food. Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce (the real kind or from the can, I don’t discriminate), yams with marshmallows, mashed potatoes with gravy, pumpkin pie—glorious. And I’m unaware of another recipe that takes such random things like green beans, condensed mushroom soup, and French fried onions and somehow when you combine them, makes a magical and delicious casserole. Thanksgiving is all about the food and eating (and giving thanks, yeah yeah) and I think that is fabulous. What’s even better is when you have multiple Thanksgiving meals to attend like I do. Although the Thanksgiving staples remain, there are always a few side dishes and desserts that differ and, in turn, a greater variety of food enters my belly. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.
No gifts: When I was a child, gifts were an important aspect that made Christmas so much more exciting than Thanksgiving. But now, as an adult, I believe that Thanksgiving trumps Christmas because of the gift giving aspect. As a kid, you get tons of presents, from everyone, and you can get away with giving your parents handmade gifts or presents that you purchased at Santa’s Workshop (Seriously, I bet my dad was pissed every year when he received another tiny screwdriver set. How many of those do you need anyway? They are so tiny, what can you use them for besides tightening the screws on your glasses?). But then, when you grow up, and even worse get married, and you have to buy so many gifts for people that you’re lucky to break even with the gifts that you receive. Thanksgiving = no gifts = awesome.
Predictability: I love schedules and knowing when things are going to happen. I’m a planner, what can I say? Thanksgiving always falls on the 4th Thursday of November, without fail, year after year. I appreciate the predictability. And the fact that it falls consistently on a Thursday means that employers feel obligated to give you off the following day. Bonus.
Perfect vacation length: Alright, maybe those of you who stay at home for the holidays would prefer if your Thanksgiving vacation were longer but for those of you who travel or host travelers for the holidays, you know what I’m talking about. Sure, Christmas vacation is usually a little longer, giving you more time off, but it’s usually more than enough time to wear out your welcome at the in-laws (right, Ganky?) Thanksgiving, on the other hand, provides you with a pretty long weekend to enjoy food, family, and those hometown friends that you never get to see.
Leftovers: I’m not one for shopping on Black Friday. Too many crowds, anger, frustration, and frankly, I don’t want to get up that early. No deal is worth my sleep. Or my life. But one thing that I do look forward to on Black Friday is eating leftovers. My dad cooks just enough holiday food to last at least three days. Sure, the mashed potatoes don’t have the same consistency and the gravy is somewhat gelatinous but leftovers are the shiz.
Naps: There aren’t any presents to open or toys to play with, so what do you do after your Thanksgiving meal? Take a nap! How amazing. Two of my favorite pastimes, eating and sleeping, rolled into one holiday.
Giving thanks: Each year at my parents’ house, we each have to tell everyone what we are thankful for that year. Without fail, my husband each and every year says that he’s thankful for me (and without fail, each year his proclamation is met with disbelief and scoff: “That’ll change!” Listen family/haters, we’re in love and have been for 10 years, it’s not gonna change). My husband’s declaration of appreciation isn’t a treat or anything, he tells me this all the time but I like hearing it, especially in front of a crowd so for this reason alone, Thanksgiving is pretty awesome… for me.