The day after Halloween, almost every shopping center in the area is taking down the spiderwebs and pumpkins in the window, replacing them with garlands and wreaths. Holiday music is suddenly everywhere and commercials and ads promote Black Friday sales.
As stores jump from advertising Halloween to advertising the winter holidays, our brains do too. The leap that the stores make causes society to gloss over Thanksgiving and every year Thanksgiving gets less attention.
Instead of a holiday, the last Thursday of November is, more often than not, seen as an excuse for people to stuff themselves with turkey and not go into school (or work).
Skipping over the holiday, rather than recognizing it and its importance, illustrates how self-absorbed society has become.
Thanksgiving is for recognizing the important things in life, recognizing what we have, how fortunate we are and being thankful for it.
We complain about homework, SATs, college apps and elections and we forget how lucky we are that we have such a good education, that we can get high scores on standardized tests, that we can afford college, that we have the right to be angry and speak out against the election results.
We live in Montgomery County, one of the richest areas in the DMV. We get the newest version of the iPhone as soon as it comes out, we get new Uggs every season, we get our licenses and most of us have a car that we can use whenever we want. We have luxuries that others would kill for and yet we still whine and complain about our problems.
Everyone has their own problems and everyone reacts to them differently. We may be stressed about homework, upset about a fight with our friends or concerned that we don’t have enough time to do everything that we need to do.
I’m not going to say that we shouldn’t feel this way. Feelings are by definition uncontrollable and no one’s feelings are any lesser than anyone else’s.
However, while we are stressed and upset we need to remember to stop and think about everything that we have, how fortunate we are to have it and be thankful that we do have it.
Thanksgiving gives us the opportunity to do exactly that, which is why it is arguably the most important holiday, and why we need to recognize it rather than just gloss over it.
So this Thanksgiving, be angry, be upset, be sad and be scared if that is how you are feeling, but also be thankful that you are privileged, be thankful for your health, your friends, your family. Just be thankful for what and who you have in your life.
Front Page Editor