The Importance of Thanksgiving

The overlooked holiday

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The Importance of Thanksgiving

Natalie Eljamal, Staff Writer

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Every year it’s as if the Christmas season arrives earlier, and the Thanksgiving holiday is forgotten about. As soon as the Halloween candy leaves the shelves, it’s restocked with candy canes, tinsel and other Christmas necessities. And don’t get me wrong, I love listening to some Christmas music in early November, but I also feel like there is a societal rush that takes us to Christmas that we seem to miss out on another very important holiday: Thanksgiving.

In school, children are often taught that Thanksgiving is the time when the English pilgrims and the indigenous tribes showed friendship and peace when they first harvested their crops. To go more in depth, the pilgrims had a hard time setting up a stable civilization due to their status and their risk of contracting a disease. But thankfully, with the help of the neighboring Native Americans they were able to build a successful community. They then shared their first meal together with them to thank them for helping them get through a rough patch in the New World.

Usually, the picture that comes in mind is the long table full of food with people filled into their seats in the middle of a forest with tall trees. When I was little, I remember making hand turkeys in art class and learning the Turkey Tango, the infamous dance that we learned in elementary school. I was always taught that Thanksgiving was a big holiday, but why? Yes we got all this information on how it happened, but the question is, why is Thanksgiving a thing we celebrate annually?

To start off, Thanksgiving is a time to slow down and take a breathe. To elaborate, many people forget to show how thankful they are and Thanksgiving takes one day out of the year to really take it slow and gives you time to show how thankful you are, whether it’s for a person or belongings or whatever it may be. Typically, people gather with family and feast on a variety of different dishes.

Not only does Thanksgiving serves as a breather to look around and see and acknowledge what you’re thankful for, but it also produces new relationships between family members and creates stronger bonds, which is a necessity in human life. Humans are social animals, they are not meant to be alone and not socialize with anyone, everyone needs someone to turn to.

Thanksgiving is one of those days in the year when many adults don’t work, and children don’t go to school, so family members get together to enjoy the day. Families share laughs over eating a meal and telling stories about things that happened during the year. Along with that, many people also celebrate Friendsgiving which is a time for friends to get together and share a meal as well. People see this as an alternative if they are unable to spend the holiday with their family or simply if they just want to spend time with their friends.

Not only is this holiday a time to make new memories, but Thanksgiving is followed by a night of discounted shopping. Stores are filled with people who overate and are ready to shop till they drop. For some, the shopping could be therapy to the stress they just endured over dinner, we all know that no one’s family is perfect and sometimes all getting together could cause some stress, but then again that’s completely normal. Either way, families join the other Americans at the store and start the beginning of their Christmas shopping.

Take this holiday slow and take a deep breath. Look around the room and see what you have around you and focus. Use this built in family time to let people know who and what you’re thankful for. And don’t be distracted by the thought of Christmas, there is always going to be a time and place for it. Be thankful and take it one step at a time. It is so easy to forget about how fortunate you are.

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