OPINION: Why Thanksgiving is the Best Holiday: A brief history and opinion on Thanksgiving

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

James Martin | Contributing Writer

As specified in a joint resolution passed by Congress in 1941 and a proclamation issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1942, Thanksgiving appears on the 4th Thursday of November in the United States. However, in Canada it is celebrated on the second Monday of October Britannica. Many of you have probably learned about the pilgrims who started the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S.. There are a variety of Thanksgiving traditions across America that citizens indulge in. 

Thanksgiving is traditionally celebrated by United States and Canadian citizens. The history of Thanksgiving according to Britannica  reads “Colonists in New England and Canada regularly observed “thanksgivings,” days of prayer for such blessings as safe journeys, military victories, or abundant harvests. Americans model their holiday on a 1621 harvest feast shared between English colonists and the Wampanoag. This is what most U.S. children have learned as they made their way through elementary school. However, according to multiple sources, and in this particular instance, according to Insider.com, the first Thanksgiving occurred much earlier. Many historians declare 1637 was the year of the first Thanksgiving “as the true origin of Thanksgiving, since the Massachusetts Bay Colony’s governor, John Winthrop, declared a day to celebrate colonial soldiers who had just slaughtered hundreds of Pequot Native American men, women, and children in what is now Mystic, Connecticut”. Canadians trace their earliest thanksgiving to 1578. 

Setting aside the history of Thanksgiving we look at the overall holiday debate. Sure Halloween, Christmas, Easter, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Valentine’s Day, and St. Patricks Day all have their perks and importance. However, nothing can size up to the G.H.O.A.T; Greatest Holiday of all time. Thanksgiving is the undisputed best, and nothing will ever come close.

A lot of people may disagree with my statement, and to that I have just three words: Food, Family and Football. The three staples of Thanksgiving in the modern United States.

Food is the first attribute that boosts Thanksgiving above all others. Turkey, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, green beans, corn, dinner rolls, apple pie, cherry pie, pecan pie and so much more. Whatever your family’s Thanksgiving menu consists of, it is sure to blow any holiday food out of the water. Christmas Ham, Halloween candy, and 4th of July grill outs are all special, but again, nothing compares. It is the one day of the year where people can eat and eat until they get put into a food coma. Remember, if you know someone who doesn’t have a family to spend the day with, a simple invite can make a huge difference in their life. On top of this, millions of Americans lack in being able to afford all these luxurious foods on Thanksgiving, however, there are local food banks in the proximity of the Dayton area. If you have any extra food, consider donating and making a difference in your fellow community.

Second is Family. Thanksgiving is all about showing thanks for the wonderful things that surround you in this journey we call life. However, you wouldn’t even be here if it wasn’t for your parents, your parent’s parents and so forth. For many, family is what it’s all about. Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel days in an entire year, and that is because family is important, especially during this holiday. You would not be who you are today without your siblings, parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents, or even friends you call family, so no matter who you spend the day with, show thanks this Thanksgiving. Take the time to appreciate the people you love.

Football, an American pastime for decades, also features three games almost every Thanksgiving. For years, fans of teams and football in general crowd around the TV to watch superstars from all over the nation compete at the professional level. It has become a staple for Thanksgiving, and many Thanksgiving enthusiasts enjoy the competition. This year the three games feature the Detroit Lions, Buffalo Bills, New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, and Minnesota Vikings, all of which are seeking a win on the national holiday to boost the chances of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in February. 

On top of these main points, if those reasons aren’t enough to convince you, we have the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This takes place from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and is located in New York City. If you tune in, you will see millions of people crowded the streets watching or participating in the parade. It is a truly special experience and one in which you will see many blimps or balloons shaped and designed to many known characters such as Santa, Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Olaf, the Grinch and so much more.  Thanksgiving has been a part of our country before we were a country. It has prevailed for many many years with one common goal; show thanks. No matter where or who you spend the day with, just remember to show thanks and enjoy whatever activities the day may ensue. If you are wondering how I will spend my day, it will consist of multiple plates of food, watching football, and making memories with the ones I love.

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