It’s more than just mashed potatoes


As we turn the page of the calendar to November, spooky skeletons and bags of sugary Halloween candy are immediately replaced by plastic Santa’s and miniature Christmas trees.

All traces of Halloween vanish, and spirited Christmas music fills stores and homes across the country. There are 55 days in between the two holidays, so what gets people through those 1,320 torturous hours?

DSC_0001.jpgFor many, the thought of buttery mashed potatoes and Grandma’s stuffing are lifesavers.

A five-day weekend, a feast complete with turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie, another feast the next day at Friendsgiving dinner, fall vibes, friends and family: these are all special parts of the Thanksgiving season and are main contributors to its glory.

Yet for some reason, being thankful never really pops in our heads when we think about Thanksgiving.

Being thankful is assumed to go along with the holiday, but do we really stop and reflect on what we are most thankful for? And if we do, is it for more than a few seconds and soon forgotten?

Thanksgiving is arguably the best holiday, but its true meaning is commonly disregarded. Once people’s bellies are stuffed and their plates are cleared, Thanksgiving, and all it embodies, is steamrolled by Christmas preparations and festivities.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Christmas. I’d even say I love it. It’s a holiday full of cheer, happiness and family, which are all things we acknowledge we’re thankful for.

It’s quite ironic that we find ourselves feeling thankful more on Christmas than on a holiday with the word “thanks” in the name.

So why not hold off a bit on the Christmas craziness and embrace Thanksgiving a little longer? Christmas is celebrated for basically a month and a half (both before and after Dec. 25), but Turkey Day only gets a meal, and even that time is being cut into by Christmas.

Thanksgiving cartoon VT.jpeg

Don’t let your future Thanksgivings be like this… “Mom, I’m not coming home for dinner. There’s a Victoria’s Secret sale right now! Illustration courtesy of Vienna Tang

Black Friday has gotten so extreme that families are skipping their Thanksgiving dinners to go stand in lines to get the best deals.

Are we so obsessed with material possessions that we can’t hold off a few more hours before we go wrestle someone for a flat screen?

Thanksgiving is about family. Laughing together. Enjoying each other’s presence.

It’s about watching football together and having the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on in the other room. It’s about playing board games with your cousins while your tummies rumble. It’s about having a family sing-along while making dinner, and your grandpa is sitting on the couch looking up the lyrics so he can follow along.

It’s the little moments that we cherish the most and the overwhelming feeling of love and happiness that make the holiday so special.

The food and the days off school that come with Thanksgiving aren’t bad, they’re fantastic actually, but we can’t let them take control of Thanksgiving and disguise the true meaning.

Now that Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is quickly approaching, I hope you seized the opportunity to be truly thankful. But if you didn’t, no worries!

We can all strive to live Thanksgiving’s true meaning in our everyday life. Eating until you’re so full you have to unbutton your pants, spending time with family and friends and being thankful for every moment seems like a pretty awesome life to me.

Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be a single meal, so let’s make it a lifestyle.

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