Why I’m Thankful for Thanksgiving

We all know of the eternal Holiday power struggle between Christmas and Halloween. November is a sort of no man’s land where Christmas enthusiasts are chomping at the bit to put out their decorations, and Halloween fans are lamenting the end of another season. But me? I’m eagerly anticipating my favorite holiday – Thanksgiving. It’s not that I’m super into the historical context of Thanksgiving or the Norman Rockwell-esque ideal of the perfect American family around the table, dressed in matching cable-knit sweaters. Instead, I think of it as a breath of fresh air between two manic holidays. Mama needs a break from the insanity, guys.

For context, I live in a neighborhood that takes Halloween extremely seriously. The build up to the trick or treating is intense: extravagant decorations and barricades are set up well before the trick or treaters come. People get off work early to cordon off their parking spots. From dusk until about 10pm, people run through the streets, going from house to house scrambling for the best candy they can find. Don’t get me wrong, Halloween in my neighborhood is a blast. But handling an overly excited toddler in a Mardi Gras-like crowd is stressful. Once the night is over, I can take a deep breath and relax if only for a short time before the Christmas craziness begins.

Guys, Christmas is one of my favorite holidays. There’s so much joy and anticipation in December. So many festive parties to attend. But the month tends to get over-scheduled quickly. Instead of spending quality time with the family, most of the month is spent shuttling everyone to and from social obligations. There’s also the not-so-fun financial side of Christmas: our society (incorrectly and unrealistically) places a high priority on buying the biggest and best gifts to show family and friends how much you care. Finally, there’s a big holiday hangover once it’s all said and done. January post-holiday depression is a real thing, y’all.

So that’s why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of them all. Instead of being expected to send myself to the brink of financial insolvency to demonstrate my love for my family, I can simply bake (or buy) a pie or make a casserole. I’m not expected to attend multiple parties to the lead up of the day; instead, I simply show up to the designated house where the meal will occur, bring the dish I was assigned to make or buy, and enjoy the day with family and friends. There’s absolutely no running around to multiple stores to find the perfect gift or traipsing to multiple houses in the neighborhood crowd to beg for candy with a toddler. Instead, I am encouraged – no, EXPECTED – to sit down and eat until my belly is full and then laze around the house while my kid sleeps off his carb-induced coma. It is glorious.

So mamas, enjoy the down time with family before December comes. We’ll all need to carb-load to shop for those black Friday deals the day after Thanksgiving, anyway.


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