Thanksgiving´s a Scam


Althea Millman (12th), Reporter


Every year families across the U.S. gather to celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November. But why? What makes Thanksgiving one of the biggest and most celebrated holidays throughout the country? 

Most would agree that the basis of Thanksgiving is giving thanks and being grateful for what you have; however, how often is that actually a focus of how Americans celebrate?

For instance, when Madison Beard, a Senior on campus, was asked how she celebrated the holiday, she responded with the statement, “I eat a lot of food, and then I go into a food coma.” 

That’s not to say that there is anything wrong with participating in this common Thanksgiving tradition. Still, it is curious how, despite the holiday supposedly being about showing gratitude, the first thing that people think of when talking about how they celebrate is eating.

“I’m not entirely sure [why we celebrate Thanksgiving], people say it’s to give thanks…that’s what I’ve always heard,” Beard remarks.

The holiday does, however, bring families together. Spending time with family is great, but oftentimes, only a few of those families even take the time to say what they’re thankful for. Instead, many concern themselves exclusively with the holidays’ various and beloved- yet arbitrary- traditions such as eating, shopping, and watching football or the Macy’s Day Parade. By doing this, though, they are brushing over the real purpose of Thanksgiving.

Now, not only is the focus of how the holiday is celebrated askew but the original intentions themselves unfortunate.

The idea of a holiday dedicated to stepping back and appreciating what we have is fantastic on paper. But in reality, it becomes a bit saddening that humanity needs a national holiday to remind us to be grateful.

“Some people… [need a reminder]. A lot of people take for granted what they have,” Beard acknowledges.

While it is true that some people may need the reminder, it does not change the fact that practicing gratitude and giving thanks for what you have should not be a once-a-year thing.

The same can be seen with the concept of New Year’s’ resolutions. Every year, people wait to do something they want to do to better themselves and often change their life until January 1st. Although treating the new year as a fresh start can indeed be used positively, it still involves relying on a specific date to remind you to do something. Why not start bettering yourself now? Why not be grateful now?

In an ideal world, we would not need Thanksgiving to remind us what we should already know to do on a daily basis. Being grateful should come naturally, but alas, many still require an annual reminder to set the time aside to appreciate what they have. 

Since this is not likely to change any time soon, the least we can do is celebrate the holiday right.

This Thanksgiving, as arbitrary it may be and seem, I intend to step away from the delicious food and early Black Friday shopping to take the time to truly be grateful for all that I have.