Happy Holiday(s)

Wilson reflects on overlooked holiday.

Jacque Wilson, Managing Editor

As November begins, the holiday season is known to soon arrive. But I feel that the phrase “Happy Holidays” has become obsolete. Anywhere one goes, Christmas lights are on display, wreaths are hung, and red and green is plastered everywhere. Christmas has dominated the holidays, leaving Thanksgiving in the dust.

Personally, Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday of mine. It is a time to gather with family and loved ones, enjoy great food, and, if the weather is nice enough, go on a walk after stuffing your stomach. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas as well, but I do not appreciate how frequently Thanksgiving is overlooked. 

One of my favorite things to do is to sit with family and just talk. I have had the privilege of coming from a rather large family, most of which are spread out. Thanksgiving is a time to see them for the first time in a while and just listen. I remember when I was much younger, I would get annoyed at all of the adult talk, but now I cherish the time I get with loved ones. I appreciate hearing the highlights of peoples years and what they are most thankful for.

Another perk of Thanksgiving is the absence of gifts. Many people do not see this as a positive, but as a broke high school student, I do. Even when I do have the resources to buy gifts, the stress of picking out a gift that is both useful and exciting is too much for me. Similarly, receiving gifts scares me as well. I am constantly feeling guilty knowing that someone spent their money on something for me. This is why I appreciate the ‘come as you are’ aspect of Thanksgiving. 

As far as the food, the cuisine served at Thanksgiving is far superior to Christmas in my opinion. I will admit, turkey is not as good as ham, but the sides are all that matter to me. My absolute favorite is mashed potatoes. I could eat only mashed potatoes and be content. But the beauty of Thanksgiving is that there are so many other good options such as stuffing, rolls, macaroni, casseroles such as green bean or corn, and so much more. Christmas food is good too, but it is not the focal point of the holiday, therefore I feel less effort is put into the food to be delicious.

As we all know, Southern Illinois weather is very irregular. I remember one year it snowed on Thanksgiving, and not on Christmas. But, I will never be able to fully get into the Christmas spirit while I am still capable of wearing shorts to school. The temperatures have been in the 60’s the last couple of weeks and at some points even reaching the low 70’s, yet Cedarhurst Art Museum already has a Christmas Tree shining by the front door. It seems very premature to me. 

As time goes on, I suspect Christmas will lurch its celebration earlier and earlier into the year. Before long, the phrase “Happy Holidays” will lose its meaning even more as it transitions into the singular “holiday.” I hope that eventually, Thanksgiving will get the recognition and appreciation it deserves.