Opinion: War on Thanksgiving

“There isn’t a War on Christmas in this country. There’s a War on Thanksgiving.” — Jon Stewart, political satirist. 

Autumn leaves, 84 degrees and not a single freeze. Fall in Texas is here and we should be focused on one thing — Thanksgiving.

In my childhood home, you wouldn’t catch my mother dead with a single Christmas light until after Thanksgiving. Her house was decorated head to toe with cornucopias, turkeys and gourdes. We never Black Friday shopped — we decorated. However, my family is increasingly an anomaly in this situation.

There is an annual, archaic argument among Americans over when Christmas festivities should begin. Well, naturally, the inflatables and flocked trees should make their grand debut on Nov. 26 — after Thanksgiving.

For a lot of people, this holiday is being fully celebrated for the first time since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. While there may still be empty seats at the table, Thanksgiving is an opportunity to reflect on our life’s blessings and treasures. It’s a judgement-free zone to stuff our faces with every comfort food known to man. It shouldn’t be sidelined for St. Nick and gingerbread houses.

Flakey biscuits, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and, of course, the perfectly carved turkey — not to mention the beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes, lamb, rams, hogs, dogs, chicken, turkeys, rabbit, (You name it!) — shouldn’t all be overshadowed by Mariah Carey and Nat King Cole. 

Thanksgiving deserves more appreciation, not just because it’s an American holiday but because it’s a family- and friends-centered holiday. It’s specifically designed to bring together every person and thing you’re thankful for. It’s the least we could do for our mental health after the isolation we’ve endured.

Don’t get me wrong, a magical Christmas tree puts any turkey or pumpkin to shame. Who wouldn’t want to look at the dazzling fir next to the lit fireplace? 

Christmas is one of the most prized seasons of the year, so people will naturally want to celebrate it sooner rather than later. However, the month of November is a time for different types of celebrations. Whether it’s religious or social, Thanksgiving has many different interpretations that all boil down to being grateful for where we’re all at. 

Kickstarting Christmas festivities takes away from Thanksgiving. 

Christmas brings presents and joy, sure, but Thanksgiving recognizes and appreciates our families, friends and lives. Thanksgiving may bring about your hippie Aunt Helen, grouchy Grandpa Tim and crazy cousin Tiffany to the table, but please note that not everyone has these people. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have people with which to surround themselves. Not everyone is able to afford a warm, homemade meal. Regardless of what you or anyone else has, the life we have is worth being appreciated. Remember — there will always be someone who would happily trade places with you. 

Thanksgiving is a holiday in which everyone can realize their fortunes and be able to say thanks for them. 

Christmas, on the other hand, will have its time. Whether it’s Santa Claus or the birth of Jesus, millions of people around the world will join in celebration. Fortunately, the U.S. has an additional opportunity to kickstart the festivities by acknowledging our opportunities and blessings. 

As for big box stores, it’s understandable why the full Christmas assembly is on display. Many people want to jumpstart their Christmas shopping and not to mention this year’s crazy supply chain backup. However, the displays could be saved till after Halloween, Hobby Lobby.

Instead of jumping to hang ornaments and fall off ladders, sit down and enjoy the pumpkin pie and crisp fall air. After all, they won’t be around forever.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all and have a merry Christmas … later.

Kaelin Connor is a psychology senior and opinion writer for the Battalion.