Asking for more sincere Thanksgiving thanks

Chicago Now

Families came to see Chicago’s 80th McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade last week on Thursday morning

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Thanksgiving is a national holiday. It was labeled as such in 1863, by President Abraham Lincoln, who officially announced Thanksgiving as a holiday that would be celebrated by the United States as a whole. It was meant to be a day set aside to give thanks for what one has and to show gratitude to family and friends.

But in more recent times, Thanksgiving Day has been thrown to the wayside.

Instead of cherishing what we already have, most Americans spend turkey day plotting their imminent Christmas expenditures.

Holiday spending by the American people is higher than skyscrapers. In 2010 Americans spent 6 billion dollars on Halloween-related purchases, 30.5 billion dollars on Thanksgiving Day feasts and festivities, and a staggering 135.16 billion dollars on what one can only hope was sufficient “holiday cheer” recorded Savannah Haspel of IBIS World.

Often, the Thanksgiving holiday is overshadowed by the winter gift-giving festivities of Christmas and Hanukkah.

While the act of brushing over Thanksgiving with holiday lights, gifts and winter decor doesn’t bother everyone, there are others who are greatly perturbed. Junior Rachel Neuses said, “I hate it. They completely skip Thanksgiving, and while I adore Christmas, it’s really annoying that they just skip Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is also great because you get to eat a ton.” She concluded her argument in support of Thanksgiving stating, “I think everyone should get giant blow up turkeys for their lawns.”

On the other hand, there are those who don’t feel a need for such recognition of holidays.  Alex Yenkin, a Junior at New Trier, stated, “Thanksgiving is the one time of year that I know I’ll get to see my extended family, and I look forward to it every year.” Yenkin doesn’t mind that stores orientate themselves for the holiday season immediately after the Halloween frenzy is quelled. “Well, I mean, I’m not the type of person that gets into the holiday spirit for most holidays, so it doesn’t really bother me.”

Even so, the pushing past of Thanksgiving sheds light upon a popular opinion that all holidays have become too superficial. “You’re supposed to be thankful for what you have before you even start to worry about what presents you want to get for Christmas,” voiced Junior Caroline Good “I think that Halloween and Christmas are all about receiving more than giving nowadays. There is a focus on material objects instead of happiness. Happiness is the true purpose of the holidays. They [Thanksgiving and Christmas] are a time where you gather your family and spend quality time, together.”

When asked about her feelings towards stores gearing up for Christmas weeks before Thanksgiving, Good replied, “I hate that. For me, I always like to have Thanksgiving. Then I can worry about Christmas.”

Sahar Bhai joined Good in her distaste for the lack of recognition Thanksgiving recieves: “I feel like that’s not being thankful, skipping over Thanksgiving in stores.” “Thanksgiving is that one time of the year when you can just have a casual moment set aside to spend with your family. It’s more down to Earth.”

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