Does Thanksgiving get a raw deal?

NutcrackerGeek

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In the contest of the fall holidays, Halloween seems to get most of the attention, then once Halloween is over everything seems to already shift over to Christmas. Heck, even before Halloween starts we start seeing Christmas stuff. This makes me feel a bit sorry for Thanksgiving, since it's little more than a barely noticeable pause on the way to Christmas. It's a nice holiday, too. In many cultures over the millennia, holidays were characterized by feasts. In the US, Thanksgiving is the only holiday whose main characteristic is a feast. So in a way, Thanksgiving is the most traditional kind of holiday there is!

I wonder if the relative lack of stuff of interest to kids is a major reason why Thanksgiving is a bit overlooked? For Halloween kids get to dress up in costumes and they get free candy. In Christmas you've got Santa Claus and the kids get presents under the tree. Heck, even Easter has the Easter Bunny and kids go on Easter egg hunts. But Thanksgiving has ... well, nothing in particular for kids. It's more of an "adult holiday" which makes me wonder if that's why it's not a big deal for most people. So I wonder if they need to come up with the Great Turkey or something?
 

NutcrackerGeek

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One other thing I just thought of ...

In addition to being a nice, traditional "feast" holiday, I think the idea of Thanksgiving occurring in the fall is a good idea - that makes it a sort-of "harvest" holiday. However, since in most of the US late November is already well after harvest time (except maybe parts of the deep South) I wonder if it should be a bit earlier - maybe more like the 2nd Thursday of November (or the 3rd at the latest)?
 

Jeff Westover

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If you think only in commercial terms, yes, Thanksgiving is neglected. Well, kinda. It is the busiest week of the year for grocers.

However, if you do a little research, you'll see that Thanksgiving is celebrated by more Americans than any other holiday on the calendar. We are huge fans of Thanksgiving and cover it extensively.
 

MerryCarey

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I would rebut the theory that there's very little to attract kids. The venerable Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was initiated principally with children in mind---in fact, the famous huge balloons were invented as a substitute for zoo animals in the parade, which frightened some of the children. The parade still offers many attractions for children---the giant balloons, the colorful floats, entertainers from programs and music children enjoy---and it all leads up to Santa Claus, the patron saint of children. And surely most children enjoy getting together with cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents during the holiday.

One way in which Thanksgiving may get a raw deal is that, even though it's the most inoffensive of holidays, dedicated to feasting and giving thanks for the bounty on our tables and the blessings in our lives, some have tried to turn it into a political discussion about indigenous peoples. Thanksgiving isn't meant to be about the Pilgrims and what happened in the succeeding centuries between settlers and indigenous peoples. It's meant to be simply what its name says: a time for gratitude for the good things in our lives, not a celebration of the Pilgrims. It's a shame to load political baggage onto a holiday that should be about being humbly grateful for what we have, and dedicating the day to enjoying it.

Thanksgiving isn't as "flashy" as or as commercialized as Halloween and Christmas (thank goodness! God forbid there should ever be a Great Turkey or a Pilgrim on the Shelf!!), and that's okay. It's a quieter, less glitzy holiday that gives us a moment to catch our breath and enjoy family, friends, and the good things in our life before the mad rush of Christmas begins. It doesn't NEED PR to make it somehow "bigger." It's what it is, and God bless it.
 

KimB

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I think it depends on how your family regarded it. Thanksgiving was always a huge day in my family because my mother was a great cook. It also seemed to be a big deal watching the parade and then football in the afternoon. I remember seeing my mother bake for hours throughout the week and I did the same thing when I was on my own.

My brother is 19 years older and it was a treat to have him, my SIL, and their two daughters come over on Thanksgiving. Some of my grandmother's sisters dropped things off and we sent baskets of goodies to some other people.

Even as a child, Halloween was just a day. Not much preparation except to find something to wear and prepare to binge on candy.
 

Glory Sparkle

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Thanksgiving is a special celebration day. It's fabulous food and there is time for the kids to play board games and have fun. The college grandkids, grade school students all get together and visit as do the adults. No gifts to open, just time for fun.
 

Dudley

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Growing up, Thanksgiving seemed to be the one holiday that gathered the most family together.
 

NutcrackerGeek

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I think I was thinking more in terms of how "society" pays attention to it (that's not the right word, but it's the first word that comes to mind). Though of course many families get together and have big meals, etc., it just seems that it doesn't get as much attention as Halloween and Christmas.
 

Sky303

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I think Thanksgiving being more understated gives it own charm because it's a more peaceful day of thanks and reflection for the year. Let the other holidays have all the excitement and pomp. I think it's the most relaxed of the 3 months of holidays and that's nice. The food is good too, and it really can be celebrated anyway different families and people with their own traditions. I appreciate the holiday a different way than say Halloween or Christmas.
 

Storeytime

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It bothers my wife to the extent that she will not let us start decorating the inside of the house for Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving. She has all her fall and thanksgiving decorations up through Thanksgiving.
 

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I agree that it's more a question of how does a particular family regard it. I think family makes it a great holiday or an ignored one of little importance. It has always been big for my extended family. Growing up it was surrounded in the days after by other community traditions (Parade, football rivalries) so that it was a special time indeed. But to some of my closest friends, they can take it or leave it, and their families feel the same way.
 
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novelist

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-santa-I think on Thanksgiving Day itself, people are gathered with family and friends for a delicious meal, but they are also thinking about Christmas, maybe going shopping on Black Friday, decorating their homes for Christmas. Even Thanksgiving decorations in our home, mine go up on Nov 1st, because once Thanksgiving is over, my Thanksgiving decorations come down, and I start getting ready for Christmas.
 
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Dudley

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Our house will be decorated for Christmas with a few exceptions. But we will still enjoy our Thanksgiving meal with some good friends.
 
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iamkml

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I'm new here, but I'd like to add my thoughts. I think Thanksgiving is not a commercial holiday except at the grocery store, so it does seem to be overlooked. Personally, when I was young, it was a big deal, with lots of family coming over and Dad cooking and Mom tending guests. Now that my family is older and dispersed, it isn't that big of a deal. I've 'retired' from hosting, and even if I've got multiple invitations, sometimes I just stay home. I find it quite peaceful, and I always take time to think about all my blessings.
 

Edge612

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It does get a raw deal. That's one reason I started the countdown at 370 days last year on Black Friday. Thanksgiving, overall, is probably the best day of the year. A lot of people love it but not as many people spend all year dreaming about it like they do Halloween and Christmas. I think part of the reason is that Thanksgiving is mostly about that "Day" or even those few days leading up to it. But Halloween is more about a month or 2 (or 3) with apple picking, trick or treating, costumes, parties, candy, watching Halloween shows, Halloween Trails, Haunted Houses and much more people do leading up to it. Christmas? Well we know that is a lot of shopping and eating and preparing, visiting family, Christmas shows, Christmas decorating etc. etc.
Thanksgiving? For most it's really about those few days leading up to it. That's why it's overlooked by some but when it comes we all realize it's like the best day ever.
 
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Mom21

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I'm soooo looking forward to Thanksgiving! We've had our last Face Time call about the menu and who's bringing what. There was some discussion of the host (my sister) putting up her Christmas decorations for the occasion. I secretly hope not. This is the last time to let the gorgeous hues of Fall decor shine forth! I absolutely love Christmas, but I want to finish out Fall and Thanksgiving with a bang!
 
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