The Lariat

Society Shallowly Transforms the Holiday We Call Thanksgiving

Dani Fischer, Editor

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With the conclusion of spooky season, and the increasingly chilly days, Thanksgiving comes to mind. It is the next major holiday and is celebrated with a week off of school. While the Thanksgiving holiday may have a true history, our culture has shallowly transformed it into a week off with just one day solely dedicated to eating, rather than being thankful.

A break from the mundane routines of life is time people love and need. However, having an entire week off devoted to one day, and given the title of “Thanksgiving break,” puts a lot of pressure on the holiday. Possibly due to the boredom derived from the entire week off, other pseudo-holidays have evolved over the years. Black Friday receives as much fame as Thanksgiving. Shoppers speed eat through a ridiculously early meal in order to rush to various lines wrapped around storefronts, all for discounted prices. Store openings on Black Friday are made earlier every single year, literally taking over Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving has transformed into a precursor to Christmas. The entire week off provides households time to put up their Christmas trees and have outdoor lighting installed. From getting a head start on Christmas gift shopping to adorning homes with decorations, Thanksgiving has been strangled by the hundreds of stringed Christmas lights and suffocated by the bags of discounted gifts.

Another Thanksgiving archetype is a roasted turkey, green beans, stuffing, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie as well as many other filling, clichéd menu items. Driven by the pressure of visiting relatives, households struggle to acquire and prepare the same surplus of food every year. Some even spend their day fasting in order to prepare themselves for the forced intake of these extraneous amounts of food. The leftovers last all the way through Christmas; who knows how long the gained weight lasts.

At some point during the day, tradition calls for celebrants to acknowledge all they are thankful for. This tradition has immensely faded over time. A majority of us tend to overlook the origin of what we are celebrating on this day. Thanksgiving is intended to gather you together with your significant others, and appreciate all of yourblessings. The main purpose of this holiday has become a minor detail.

However, the essence of this American holiday has not been completely lost. This year we could all take a step back. We could brush aside the extravagant meals and the commercialized Black Friday. Spending the day with those we love, and ignoring the material distractions could change our outlook on the holiday. Doing so will be humbling, and allow us to truly engage in the presence of those we love. Maybe even challenge yourself to form your own family traditions. Fight the urge to conform to the over-commercialized Thanksgiving. After all Thanksgiving did originate before shopping malls and supermarkets were an option.

 

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The Student News Site of Friendswood High School
Society Shallowly Transforms the Holiday We Call Thanksgiving