Orange County School of the Arts

Why Thanksgiving deserves to be celebrated too

With Thanksgiving days away, more and more people I have come into contact with are wearing Christmas clothes, listening to Christmas songs (which, unbelievably, have been playing on the radio since the 5th), and tell me “Merry Christmas.” And while I try to keep my cool around them, it’s getting increasingly harder to not just yell at them that it is indeed not Christmas, that Thanksgiving owns the month of November, and only after Thanksgiving is it acceptable to start “celebrating” Christmas, and only slightly if it’s the direct day after the 23rd.

And I’ll admit that I have slightly, only slightly, raised my voice at people to tell them it’s not Christmas, because, I’m sorry, it’s not.

My friend texted me about having Christmas songs on the radio, and how she didn’t want to change it because she too, along with many others, would just rather skip over Turkey Day right to the stockings and colorful lights. I texted her back, telling her to change it because, again, not Christmas.

She said it was “fate” and continued to ask me why we even celebrate Thanksgiving because “why do we celebrate a holiday of screwing over the Native Americans?” After that, I proceeded to give my wonderful friend a stern talking to in all caps about how that is not the spirit of Thanksgiving.

While the roots of Thanksgiving are less than perfect, we can’t just shove it aside because it’s not pretty. If we did that with all of history, we would not have a history for the most part. It’s our past, and while even I don’t exactly agree with how Thanksgiving came into existence, it’s ours.

But that’s not why we celebrate this holiday. Not only is this a great excuse to stuff ourselves past the brim with wonderful goodies, but the reason is in the name: Thanks – giving.

This day is an opportunity to reflect on the past year and give thanks for how much of it went right. It’s an opportunity to reflect on everything that happened, and to be happy that you and everyone you love are alive and healthy. This is a day about family. To grow family, to strengthen family, to love family. And this is a day for thanks. Thanks for the food on the table, thanks for the fact you even have a table in front of you, thanks for the clothes on your back, thanks for the roof over your head, thanks because you’re able to talk and laugh with your family. And yes, thanks for all the hardships and obstacles that only made you stronger.

So yes. The proximity of Christmas is exciting. I know. I can’t help smiling at the thought of decorating the house with music blaring from the TV and the scent of pine wafting through the air. But Thanksgiving comes before, and it’s an equally great holiday.

So to everyone wearing ugly sweaters or snowman onesies: please don’t forget about your friends and family, reflect why we have this holiday to begin with, and everything in your life that you have to be thankful for. Let’s not leave Thanksgiving to burn in the oven.