After Halloween, we should plummet straight into the Christmas season to avoid the worst holiday of the year – Thanksgiving. Sure, the idea behind it is pretty harmless – giving thanks for what you have instead of focusing on what you don’t have. Other than that, American Thanksgiving is just the boring second-cousin to Christmas.
Maybe it’s due to my family’s lack of tradition and overabundance of dysfunction, but we never seem to get the holiday quite right. But in addition to family issues making this holiday terrible, the thematic issues Thanksgiving is grounded in makes it even worse. Here are the reasons why Thanksgiving – for lack of a better word – sucks.
1. Subpar food
Sorry, not sorry. I may be judging my mom’s cooking skills a little harshly, but I just don’t see what’s so great about gorging yourself with a bunch of carbs, dry turkey, gravy from a can and boxed stuffing. If my family is anything like yours, they don’t put in the effort to make food from scratch. Therefore, Thanksgiving dinner is just a bunch of food we could make any other day of the year.
In reality, this results in everyone bringing a plethora of dinner sides that don’t really go together (e.g mac ‘n’ cheese, ambrosia salad *ew*, mystery casserole, etc.), Grandma will most likely take forever to serve the turkey and everyone will already be filled up on veggie and meat/cheese plates by the time dinner actually rolls around. I’m almost glad I’m celebrating this year as a vegetarian, so I can substitute my main entrée for a veggie burger instead. At least it’ll be done cooking in less than five hours.
2. Forced family relations
Sometimes, extended family members think it’s a great idea to catch up with one another over a great Thanksgiving feast. Or worse, Uncle Dave is already drunk off his ass and passed out in the guest bedroom, and everyone is preoccupied about who’s going to have to drive him home. One of the only things I’m truly thankful about this Thanksgiving is that I’ll only have to socialize with my immediate family at our house, meaning no one will be forced to stay sober, and I can pass out into a food coma comfortably in my bed immediately after binging myself.
3. “Let’s go Black Friday shopping”
It always seems like a fun idea, but do not be fooled: Black Friday shopping is the Devil’s holiday. Every year, stores boast earlier and earlier Black Friday sale hours, robbing designated “valuable time with your family” and ripping family members apart. Before you know it, stores’ Black Friday hours will be pushed to noon on Thursday, merging the two holidays together into one big, stressful mess.
Plus, it’s pretty ironic that a holiday of giving thanks for what you have is immediately followed by the need to go out shopping for a bunch of material things. Go figure.
4. Football and “Turkey Bowl”
For some reason (likely money), the NFL thinks it’s a great idea to have a few football games scheduled for the day of Thanksgiving. However, I find watching people tackle each other and toss a ball on a screen for three or more hours less than enticing.
Some families even take it upon themselves to spend the day organizing their own “Turkey Bowl.” I myself have never participated in this tradition, but I can only imagine my older brother concussing everybody in the backyard, including my nine-year-old nephew and six-year-old niece. The idea of a family-friendly game may sound fun in theory, until everyone is covered in dirt and grass stains, sweaty and forced to sit in one another’s foulness around Thanksgiving dinner.
5. The history
It was embedded into our minds as children that Thanksgiving is this celebratory time and feast between the pilgrims and the Native Americans, but something just doesn’t sit right with me about that. Did the Native Americans really forgive all their massacred peoples in exchange for some turkey?
Plus, it’s not like Thanksgiving solidified the relations between the two groups forever – Native Americans have continued to be oppressed by the people who stole their homeland throughout all of American history. Native American tribes today might celebrate Thanksgiving to be thankful for their ancestors who survived colonization, which is pretty damn depressing.