Where Did Thanksgiving Go?

Remember to be Thankful in November before Rudolph Barges In

Ah, Thanksgiving! It’s that time again, gentle Syrinx readers, and it seems like the whole country is ready too. You have your fall colors, typically associated with .  . . wait—there’s elves . . . and, did they put up Santa? I think I hear “Jingle Bells” on the radio! Where did Thanksgiving go!?

Many people would agree that the Thanksgiving turkey is one of the most iconic  holiday meals. So why don’t we commemorate it? Maybe I’ve been spending a bit too much time looking for religious symbolism in a text (like many of you readers, I’m sure) but this is the one occasion where the U.S. comes together and says, “Let us not eat these other meats, but instead partake of this particular feathered friend!” Turkey is not a year-round thing; it is in this moment especially that the bird becomes a sacrifice for our sustenance. Even if we don’t partake in the meal, we should be honoring the bird, decorating our stores with turkey cutouts and changing our colors to the reds, blues and browns of the turkey. Let’s get right down to it: if you don’t enjoy your Thanksgiving turkey, then it ain’t being prepared right.

We would be remiss to forget the other American pastime associated with Thanksgiving: football. With games starting in the early afternoon and playing until the evening, fans can both enjoy their Thanksgiving meal and crowd together on their couches to watch from the comfort of their homes.

Look, it’s not all about the food or spectator sports. I think this is actually a common misconception among Americans and the number one reason why we tend to skip right over the month. This holiday is not a celebration of how much we eat ourselves into a stupor while we sit in front of our televisions. We recognize that Thanksgiving is often criticized for its tendency to erase Native American suffering, but we still feel this holiday can be celebrated for the conjoining of cultures: namely, Thanksgiving can be a time to reflect on and lament the losses of Native Americans, while simultaneously using this holiday to spread kindness and acceptance of other cultures. We should be able to sit down together and appreciate the family and friends surrounding us at the table. Prepare a meal with those who have assisted in your growth; treat the people who have been there for you in rough times to good food and an assertion of lasting friendship. Thanksgiving is a holiday that can be celebrated by many cultures as a celebration of thankfulness. There are a lot of opportunities to experience what other cultures have to offer. Be open to others, share what you are thankful for and share compassion. 

After all, Thanksgiving serves as a reminder for all of the things we have to be grateful for. The bounty of food spread out across the table is a celebration of the hard work we’ve put in over the past year to provide an excellent meal for those we care about. It is a time when we should celebrate the bounty provided to us by God; we should celebrate with each other and express our thanks verbally.

  We can also be thankful for the bounty we are blessed with by giving back to those who are in need. As Romans 12:13 reads: Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” 

If we let commercialism and consumerism of our society overshadow the truth and meanings behind its holidays, we may lose sight of how we can better serve each other. So even thoughThanksgiving is well-known for its food or football, it should also be remembered for the service we can render onto others. The Christmas season will be upon us in no time but again, not before Black Friday. It is easy to get lost in the consumerism of the holiday, but we must never forget the celebration of our Savior Jesus Christ.

  Don’t let the spirit of Thanksgiving get lost amongst the red and green blur of early Christmas pressure. Enjoy what you have to give thanks for this year, and enjoy the giving thanks itself.

Here are a few organizations you can contact to support this holiday season:

https://mmcenter.org/partner-with-us/holiday-giving

https://poverellohouse.org/get-involved/volunteer

Author: Janelle Fontaine | Opinions Editor

Author: Shawn McCurry | Staff Writer

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