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a historic holiday losing its meaning

Areeya Tipyasothi

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There’s something unsettling about a holiday that encourages excessive turkey paraphernalia and gluttonous consumption. It wouldn’t be surprising if the increase in car accidents were caused by the so-called “food coma” phenomenon, though the x games-style drinking could have something to do with it.


Though, I admit that the concept of Thanksgiving is an idyllic one.


Once a year, people are reminded to reflect on their lives and what they have to be thankful for, which – considering we live in the first world – is a lot. Despite the blatant naiveté, it’s undoubtedly a heartwarming notion.


Yet, the juxtaposition of Thanksgiving to parasitic, money-sucking giants like Black Friday undermines the holiday’s meaning completely. The moment it’s over, our hearts – though warmed by mushy proclamations of gratitude and inordinate amounts of turkey earlier – turn as frigid as the outside of Best Buy at three a.m. the semi-morning after Thanksgiving.


Suddenly, you’re watching your wonderful, loving mother – the one that read you Harry Potter and tucked you in at night – roundhouse kick your old kindergarten teacher out of the way for the second-to-last half-off 2014 Macbook Pro.


With the level of insanity, it would be no surprise if Suzanne Collins developed the idea for the Hunger Games running around the home electronics department at Walmart Black Friday morning.


The day meant for giving thanks has become obsolete. If people were to truly sit down for a moment of quiet reflection, Thanksgiving would not be the day. We can’t simply force gratitude on ourselves like we do mashed potatoes and gravy and stuffing. And even if we were to try to, the attempt would quickly turn into something along the lines of guilt-tripping our parents into giving us money for Black Friday and Cyber Monday binge-shopping.


Gratitude comes from sporadic moments in life: when we pause for a moment and marvel at the wonder of the world we live in; when we see someone do a good deed out of complete selflessness; when we experience life and the joys and sorrows that come with it.


Those moments are what truly counts when it comes to being thankful, because in those moments the beauty and fragility of life becomes more apparent


There doesn’t have to be a designated day of the year to compress these moments into.


In fact, there shouldn’t be.


Thanksgiving’s hold on the third week of November should finally come to an end, allowing us to experience life as it comes and give us a chance to finally be truly thankful.

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