Thanksgiving: The Holiday Headliner

Aaron Weiner, Staff Writer

As someone who is Jewish, I don’t get to celebrate what many regard as the best holiday of the year, Christmas. So instead, to me, Thanksgiving is my version of Christmas. Yes, I do celebrate Hanukkah, but the only reason that Hanukkah and Christmas are compared is because they fall around the same time in December. Because Thanksgiving is wrapped up in the grander holiday season, most people look over it and just want to get to the main event, Christmas. Thanksgiving has just as much to offer, if not more than Christmas. Between the food, football and family, Thanksgiving has everything you could ask for. The way I see it, society should look at Thanksgiving as the headliner at a major music festival. The other artists playing at the festival are all incredibly talented, and you love their performances, but the reason you are there is for the headliner. Although you do want to appreciate the other artists, it is tough because the whole time you are waiting for the headliner and the waiting is the toughest part. It is time that we as a society, start to treat Thanksgiving as the headliner.

One of the most anticipated meals of the entire year, without a doubt, is the Thanksgiving feast. I do feel like for the most part, people appreciate how good of a meal this is. Not only is there never a shortage of food, but the food is delicious as well. Every food in the Thanksgiving feast has purpose. Even with the wildest combinations of foods, the Pilgrims knew exactly what they were doing. I for one am never a consumer of cranberries in any shape or form, but when it comes to Thanksgiving, there is something magical in the cranberry sauce. A cranberry sauce that can quite literally be smeared upon every food on the plate is something to behold. You lather your turkey, stuffing, and even potatoes with that rich delicacy. For some reason, it just works. The most exciting part is, I have not even mentioned the best menu offering yet; stuffing. Oh, stuffing! Why this is not a food that has become as common as pizza boggles my mind. For me, stuffing may just be one of the greatest foods my taste buds have ever indulged in. This, along with all the other foods like green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, corn bread, and of course, turkey, make up just one part of the greatest holiday’s many attributes.

Thanksgiving also has something else that is so special to that individual day; football. There is nothing better than driving over to your grandma’s house and getting ready to sit down and enjoy a long day of watching football. Whether you enjoy football or not, football has become a staple part of Thanksgiving Thursday. From 1 p.m. to the end of the day, there is always a game to be watched, and nothing brings people together more than yelling at a T.V about the outcome of a game in which you have no control over. Even when there is not a game going on and you show up early, it is not uncommon for all the cousins to engage in the annual backyard football game which can be talked about at many family gatherings to come. It is also impossible to forget about the annual Thanksgiving football game between your high school and your high school’s rival. In what is the most attended game of any high school football schedule, it is usually fun to attend win or lose. Friends gather, college students come back home, and the entire town enjoys a tradition like no other. It is hard to find another holiday that has something like Thanksgiving has football.

Love them or hate them, family is family. One of the hardest groups to get together at one point in time is your family. Between all the busy schedules and things going on in everyone’s lives, it can be a real struggle to organize any type of gathering.  Fortunately, thanksgiving gives families the platform  to come together at least once during the year. Even if you do have bad blood in your family, Thanksgiving gives people the opportunity to make amends or put their differences aside for the whole day. There will also always be those cousins that understand the “crazy” that goes on in your family, and that is a bond that is hard to be broken because only your family knows what goes on behind these closed doors. Whether that is good or bad, that is something special that is impossible to really share with anyone else.

This notion of leaving Thanksgiving as an afterthought needs to end. Thanksgiving is one of the greatest holidays with an incredible amount to offer. While Christmas can be an amazing holiday, the same can be true for Thanksgiving. You do not need to choose one over the other, but rather enjoy both as headline events of the holiday season.  With everything that Thanksgiving has to offer, it needs to start being regarded just as highly as Christmas. If food, football and family is not good enough for you, then I do not know what is.