Thanksgiving is the best holiday

November 12, 2021 — by Jason Cheng
Thanksgiving sparks images of a warm cabin in the mountains, surrounded by the red, orange and yellow leaves of autumn.

It’s the best time of year again. 

No, not Christmas. Not summer, either. It’s Thanksgiving. 

Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season. Strategically placed near the end of November, it’s a perfect transition into winter while simultaneously celebrating the final days of sunshine.

From a holiday standpoint, Thanksgiving, as its name suggests, gives thanks in the form of good ol’ food. Everyone loves a Thanksgiving meal, catered toward whatever culture or background you come from. And, who doesn’t enjoy some family time every now and then?

When Thursday night hits, the festivities begin: dinner, conversations and all-around fun. It’s a great time to catch up with family and friends, especially if your distant relatives make the trip or you travel to meet them elsewhere.  

Trademark dishes — turkey, mashed potatoes, bread and cranberry sauce — spark images of a warm cabin in the mountains, surrounded by the red, orange and yellow leaves of autumn. It’s not too cold or too hot, but just right. Slight rain showers scattered throughout a partly-cloudy day present the perfect opportunity for a lazy stroll around the neighborhood to walk off your Thanksgiving calories. 

Immediately after, it’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday —  that means discounts. Whether it’s clothes or gadgets, you have to take advantage of the countless sales on products you’ve been eyeing up for an eternity. 

What elevates Thanksgiving above Christmas, per se, is its placement in the year. The extra three days off is a buffer to refresh and regroup to push through the end of the semester. By the time winter break arrives, we’re completely burned out from weeks of cramming and testing to actually get out of bed, and it’s too cold to really do anything. 

During the latter half of Christmas break, a sort of cabin fever develops with the urge to return to a daily routine. Too much of a break isn’t great either: The extended period of immobility and idleness disrupts our schedule, potentially demotivating us when we actually need an energy boost for the spring semester. 

That’s not to say that Thanksgiving break doesn’t have any flaws, though. The school days on Monday and Tuesday kill the mood, and with finals rapidly approaching, we celebrate our five-day breaks with the enormous amount of work still laying around.

The holiday itself isn’t at fault, though. No matter what time of year it is, there’s always something stressful around the corner, but we all need a break here and there for maximum productivity. 

Still, as a concept, Thanksgiving trumps all: Food, social interaction and comfort — what more could you ask for? In the midst of a chaotic first semester, Thanksgiving provides an opportunity to settle in for the ride, and I’m truly thankful for its existence.

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