Think about it. Halloween is the fun festivity, where you go out with friends and have fun — be it at a party or simply a movie night at home. Christmas is the familial one, where you sit around at a table and reminisce over the past year, feasting until your stomach is about to explode. With October and December already so full, November acts as the null month — a lull between the festivities where nothing interesting happens. At least, that was the case until the tradition of Thanksgiving was created.
As an international student, Thanksgiving was something I’d heard about, but never experienced. The idea of turkey with cranberry sauce, accompanied by all of the other possible vegetable-based sides and pies, seemed pretty excessive. In fact, I always thought of it as a pre-game for Christmas, with a similar form of poultry, sides and other rich or luxurious menu items. From what I knew, Thanksgiving was based on the idea of family, gratitude and spending time with your loved ones.
I also knew that this additional theme of gratitude was really the only thing separating Thanksgiving from Christmas, though it still felt eerily similar to saying grace before a meal. Really, there’s nothing original about the November holiday itself. Simply put, Thanksgiving is a combination of several previously established components in Western culture, merged to form another excuse to celebrate.
While the purpose of adding such a holiday escapes me, I can definitely see the benefits of it. On a cold winter day, nothing could be better than filling yourself with warm, rich food and sitting around a fire. I simply don’t see why a new specific holiday needs to be created for this reason, however. Why can’t we just feast for the sake of enjoying food?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to having another three days off from school this semester — although with PG&E giving us these constant breaks, the need for another one can be questioned. Thanksgiving is perfectly placed to be that stress-relieving breather everyone needs right before finals hit us with its full wrath. It just seems kind of weird to have a mini-Christmas a month before the big day.
Thanksgiving could exist for any reason, be it a formal celebration of food with family or a major American tradition. Either way, you won’t be hearing the Clog complain about a few more Marc Fisher-approved days off of school.
Contact Chandini Dialani at [email protected].