Published by: AK98
Thanksgiving or Christmas?
Some people think Christmas is the best holiday of the year. I am not one of those people.
I am a furious advocate for Thanksgiving being the best holiday in the history of the world. It marks a time of year in northern Arizona when the leaves turn gold & orange; when Holiday’s starter pistol pops, marking the beginning of the Christmas Season; when mornings are kissed by winter’s lips, biting & crisp, but peaceful while in its presence; when the sun begins hiding behind the mountains before 8:00 pm; when football’s actors dance across a stage of frozen tundra as theater buffs hang on every move, onlooking from stitched leather Lazy Boys & pillowy reclining couches; when the aroma of fresh baked dough emanates through kitchen walkways, as it plays host to a clash between mozzarella & tomato, pepper & pepperoni, all within its annular arena.
But those are just the season’s appetizers, for it is Thanksgiving that truly inspires me. Thanksgiving encapsulates American prosperity and tradition more than any other holiday. Most holidays in American culture are made up celebrations driven by consumer addicts, preyed upon by their dealers, the candy & toy companies, who have support from International Kingpin, marketing & media.
While Thanksgiving is just as guilty as their neighbors for helping consumers get their fix via massive media campaigns, it is one of the few American holidays where no gifts are necessary during its celebration. The only gift is yourself, and if you’re up to it, a specialty dish of your choosing, in hopes of spreading joy & gratitude.
Similar to Christmas in its morality tales of selflessness, not selfishness, Thanksgiving accomplishes what Christmas cannot. You can put a bow on a Mercedes SL for a bratty 16-year old, who has almost assuredly been a piece of shit most of the year, while the compassionate, empathetic child from the other side of town who deserves better receives toys & gadgets from the clearance bin at Family Dollar. There is no such thing as a “Mercedes Turkey,” monetarily speaking. There are sprawling gaps between rich & poor kids on the types of Christmas celebrations in which they participate.
With Thanksgiving, these disparities are non-existent. There is no 24-karat diamond turkey, just like there are no designer candied yams. Sure, people can elevate a dish, or even get their meal prepared by a Gordon Ramsey-type, but it is not as drastic as the differences between a bike and a motorcycle. Most importantly, the gifts people hold onto are not tangible; they’re memories, and feelings. The tangible ones, they can’t take with them; that is unless you count leftovers & poo-poo. The fact is, Thanksgiving is the one holiday where we are so encouraged to give thanks that they literally put it in the name.
Now, I understand there is a chance that some of you reading this may be apart of the “decolonization” movement; sitting back in your one bedroom apartment, spacing out from this article to stare deeply into the eyes of your Black Lives Matter poster, fantasizing about a world with no white people while you wait for vampire roommate to finish vampire laundry so you can wash your keffiyeh before the next Hamas celebr…#freepalestine protest you attend.
Notice how I even tried to use vampire roommates’ preferred pronouns for vampire’s authentic self this week. Spellcheck had difficulty understanding, so the real bigots are the inventors of that line of code that doesn’t understand inclusiveness to the fullest.
Ok. I’m done.
Now that I got that out of my system, I can agree there is a legit argument for the unagreed colonization of Native American lands by European settlers. I get the complaints surrounding Thanksgiving as a celebration of colonization. Yes, had Squanto not helped the original Pilgrim settlers get through their first cold winter, the Native Americans would have bought themselves more time as the owner of their lands. But we would be overlooking ALL of Thanksgiving’s amazing history throughout America’s lifetime. I won’t make this a history lesson; that article will come, so stay tuned.
The fact of the matter is it is the one time of year where Americans, at home and abroad, share in a meal with people they would otherwise not have. Plus, the food is effing incredible. Why I don’t cook turkey throughout the year is beyond me. It provides pure protein for like two weeks. And most importantly, it’s a time to give thanks. For finding gratitudek wherever one’s life may be is a gift all unto itself.