I like Thanksgiving better than Christmas. (Tweaked slightly and recycled.)Posted: November 21, 2011
There. I said it, and I’m glad.
Apparently I’m not alone. How thankful I am for the magic of the intertubes, where I’ve tumbled onto a great number of like-minded peeps. (Kind of like the little Bee Girl at the end of the “No Rain” video by Blind Melon. But much less cute.) And Nordstrom stores have the right idea.
The things I adore about Thanksgiving is the act of being thankful, and being surrounded by those I’m most thankful for. Encouraging us all to be giving, appreciative, and grateful, as well as gracious is what I love about the holiday. It gets pretty hard to find those times where people present those traits openly and without a hidden agenda, with no strings attached.
“What about Christmas!” you say… When you are constantly bombarded with ads telling you, “Only so many days left – so you better get shopping,” and the stress associated with finding the “Perfect Gift,” it can be really hard not to get caught up in the materialism.
At Christmas, if you fall asleep at your family gathering, whispers go around about how you may have had too much eggnog. At Thanksgiving, sleeping isn’t just okay, it’s encouraged!
At Christmas, people bring presents. They’re for certain people. At Thanksgiving, people bring food. It’s for everyone!
At Christmas, once you open presents, the day is pretty much over. At Thanksgiving, we use words like “seconds,” “thirds,” and “leftovers.”
It’s easy to add extra people. What if someone extra shows up at a Christmas party? It’s a big scramble to stealthily grab the standby present from the closet. At Thanksgiving, though, there’s always more than enough food to go around, no matter who comes.
Christmas had a lot going for it, especially for me as a Christian. Heck, it has Christ right in its name, it’s based on celebrating His birth, and it racks up some of the highest church attendance of the year. But now with blinking Rudolph in the show, literally, it kind of feels like we’re just taking Christ’s name in vain. I like the less neon holiday better.
You can talk all you want about Thanksgiving being about the pilgrims’ gratefulness to the natives for corn on the cob, but I’m pretty sure their gratitude ran deeper than that. While Christmas as we know it might have some good intentions built in, its roots are a little more suspect. Thanksgiving was awesome from the start.
Instead of asking people what they want or got for Christmas, you get to ask what people are thankful for. And that, by itself, is a reason to be thankful. And love it.
Thanksgiving is like an obscure indie band with better music, while Christmas is like Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga: mainstream and done to the lowest common denominator. So I’d give the slightest edge to Thanksgiving (usually milder weather).
Most people don’t even give a second thought to Thanksgiving. Underappreciated, this festival is often overlooked in favor of Christmas. Instead of being a stand-alone holiday, the time of Thanksgiving is used as a transitional period from Halloween to Christmas. Depressing, no?
Thanksgiving is truly the most relaxing of the holidays. Think about it: the whole day revolves around consuming colossal portions of casserole and stuffing, before moving on to eating not one, not two, but three full pieces of pecan pie. After that it’s either family bonding time, or family nap time. Either way, there is not a whole lot of activity required unless you are cooking; in which case, have fun deep-frying that turkey for six hours. The rest of us will be inside shoveling down spoonfuls of cranberry sauce.
Thanksgiving is a time to be, well, thankful. It’s easy to lose sight of what the day is really meant for, especially since most people see it as just that random holiday before Christmas. But in reality, it’s a time to reflect on life and concentrate on the people around you, those that care for you. That, and eat an entire plate of Aunt Marge’s green bean casserole. I mean, let’s not get too sentimental here.
- Justin Bieber never made a Thanksgiving record.
- No one ever cried at church because they didn’t get the right kind of Bratz doll for Thanksgiving, now did they?
- Thanksgiving involves slightly less outright lying to the children.
- It’s a guarantee your kids will say “Thanks.”
A former boss of mine used to refer to Thanksgiving as “Christmas without the presents.” Works for me. I’ve never ever had enough money to gift the people I love in the manner they deserve. I know, I know: “It’s not the gift, it’s the thought that counts,” yada yada yada. That right there sums up why I like Thanksgiving better. It’s all about the thought. Oh, and the food.
I celebrated Thanksgiving in Nova Scotia this year. Canadian Thanksgiving is on the second Monday of October, the same as our Columbus Day. That makes more sense to me. The weather’s better, and it’s so much more laid back (kind of like Nova Scotians). According to diffen.com, it originated in Canada as a purely harvest festival 43 years before the US followed suit. No parades, no “Black Friday” shop-a-palooza, not just the next scheduled stop between Halloween and Christmas. Plenty of football and beer, though.
And the holiday is the source for one of my favorite jokes. “You know why no one gets laid on Thanksgiving? Nobody wants to move all those coats off the bed.”