Like everyone else on campus, I really can’t wait until Thanksgiving break. I’m ready to go home and relax with my family and friends for a couple of days, away from Oswego. Yet for some reason, I’m not in the Thanksgiving mood, which is unfortunate. Maybe it’s because I’ve already been bombarded with the obnoxious and sparkly sights and sounds of Christmas…for the past two months.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the joy that Christmas and the entire season brings. I love singing carols, decorating the tree, watching the classic TV specials and thinking about the white Christmas that will be coming. I enjoy the wonderful smells that fill my house as my family bakes cookies and delicious holiday feasts. I even proudly own the "Charlie Brown Christmas" album. But when I see red and green decorations and tinsel in the stores even before the pumpkins, ghosts and witches leave the premise, that’s a problem.
Furthermore, when radio stations decide it’s wise to play a continuous loop of Christmas tunes hour upon hour when there is no snow in sight, I actually want to be a Scrooge and say, "bah humbug." And don’t get me started on those individuals who decide that the best way to decorate their front yards is to dump everything that was available at Wal-Mart there so that it becomes what my family affectionally calls "Christmas throw-up."
The result from all of this Christmas overload is that we end up feeling numb toward this time of year because it has been drilled into our system too long and it has lost its special quality.
More importantly, we end up glossing over Thanksgiving, a truly American holiday. Ignore for a moment, if you can, the Puritan’s relationship with the Native Americans and how they may or may not have exploited them; that’s not relevant right now. It’s also irrelevant whether or not you eat turkey or tofu turkey or turducken or Chinese food on that day.
What matters is, that unlike Christmas, which is directed toward only a portion of our population, Thanksgiving is a holiday that all Americans can celebrate. That in itself is something we should honor, respect and not ignore amid the twinkling lights, candy canes and a crooning Bing Crosby.
We need to save Thanksgiving, my friends. Granted, it may not have cute claymation features associated with it or catchy tunes to sing along with, save for "The Thanksgiving Song" by Adam Sandler. And you don’t give each of your friends and family presents, so the commerical sector of our nation, with the exception of food producers and grocery stores, doesn’t see the relevance of the day. But it does allow us to be with family and enjoy little indulgences by eating too much delicious turkey, sweet potatoes and pie, then sleeping it all off while a football game is on.
We need to keep the spirit of friendship, giving and reflection that this time of year brings alive and well. We should have the same enthusiasm for this day that we did in elementary school, when our teachers made us trace our hands to make little turkeys out of construction paper and make vests like the Native Americans out of paper grocery bags. Not to mention, this holiday also has one of the best parades ever.
So put a turkey or cornucopia up as a decoration in your dorm room. Give a Happy Thanksgiving Day card to a friend. Embrace the brilliant colors of red, orange and yellow that are associated with the day. Or just ignore the Christmas songs when they come up on your radio by changing the station or putting in a CD that has nothing to do with Frosty and Rudolph. All I’m asking is that you do anything to save Thanksgiving from being completely forgotten in the transition from Halloween to Christmas. It’s a day we should be proud of. Don’t let it pass by without a second glance.