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The Different Sides of Thanksgiving

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PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES / LAURIPATTERSON

The Different Sides of Thanksgiving

By Steven Mulvihill

Imagine this, it’s Thanksgiving Day and you’re with your immediate family and most of your relatives. You notice food on the table, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and all other kinds of delicious delicacies. You enjoy good food, good conversation, and maybe even some good music as well. There is even a football game on. Everyone is great, and they are all having a wonderful time. This imagination may be what it is like for you, but it’s not the reality for every American.

Of course, we all have our own views on Thanksgiving. Some believe that it’s a holiday that we should not celebrate because of the flawed history behind it. I mean we have been celebrating it for over 400 years now, so it’s understandable that opinions may have changed over time.

For some, Thanksgiving is the worst time of the year, with stressing over making your house presentable for company and making the right foods for your guests. Many people are also traveling from near and far to get home to their loved ones, so one missed flight or late pickup can cause stress for anybody.

For others, it may be their favorite holiday. They get to see all their family and friends and enjoy great food cooked with love and care. Some families only get to see each other on Thanksgiving day, so it is a very special day for them.

Others sadly don’t have family to celebrate Thanksgiving with. Some don’t even have food on the table. Thankfully, many religious groups and homeless shelters aid people in those situations, so at least there’s that to look forward to.

Others like myself used to dread Thanksgiving because of the anxiousness of seeing their family. When I was younger, I was nervous to see my relatives because since we lived so far away, I never got the chance to fully bond with them. I still sometimes get nervous now when I go see my family.

But now, as I grew older, I became less shy and actually looked forward to seeing my relatives. I’m also more conversational with my relatives, so there is less awkwardness at the dinner table.

Whatever the case, Thanksgiving is an American tradition, and no matter what the consensus is it’s not going anywhere. I hope people can overlook the abhorrent history and the awkward interactions of Thanksgiving, and see how underappreciated the holiday truly is.

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  • Michael KANALEYDec 18, 2023 at 7:53 pm

    I’m thankful for this article. What a great job. It really makes you think and that’s what great writers do make you think. Great job Steve.