The Holiday I’m the Least Thankful For: An Op-Ed on Thanksgiving and Why it Sucks

To+some+it%27s+a+beloved+holiday%2C+but+to+me+Thanksgiving+is+one+of+the+worst+days+of+the+year+with+traditions+and+societal+expectations+that+need+to+change.

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To some it's a beloved holiday, but to me Thanksgiving is one of the worst days of the year with traditions and societal expectations that need to change.

Sarah Ambrose, Staff Writer

Everyone has that one holiday that gets on their nerves. For some more bitter single people, it’s Valentine’s Day, for others without a sweet tooth it may be Halloween. For me, that holiday is Thanksgiving. Before you come after me, I’m not attacking the concept of being thankful and eating lots of food. I am a huge fan of both of those things. It’s the other traditions and expectations surrounding Thanksgiving that I take issue with.

First, I must address the problematic history of the first Thanksgiving. In some ways it can be seen as a celebration of white conquest, ignoring the oppression of Native Americans that followed. It can also lead to cultural appropriation in some people’s celebrations.

The “required” food is another issue, especially turkey. I personally hate turkey; I think it tastes dry and disgusting. And I know I’m not the only one who thinks that, just one of the only people willing to openly admit it. Instead of having one designated meal that every American family should eat for Thanksgiving, it would be a much better use of the holiday to have it be “eat whatever food your family likes because this is America and we have the freedom to eat whatever food we please.”

The things I take a bigger issue with are the societal expectations of who people should celebrate Thanksgiving with. While Friendsgiving is a wonderful thing, it’s never used instead of Thanksgiving, just as an optional supplement. Thanksgiving is considered a holiday where everyone gathers with their whole family and those who don’t celebrate in this way are sometimes shamed. If someone doesn’t have a close relationship with their family or their family lives far away, it can be hard to celebrate a holiday that seemingly revolves around spending time with family. A better alternative is to change the perception away from being a holiday focused on spending all your time with your biological family. Instead, Thanksgiving should be a day of acknowledging whatever you are thankful for and spending it however you want with whomever you want, even if that’s your cat, a bowl of mac and cheese, and the television running a Marvel marathon. Because let’s be honest, that sounds like the ultimate way to spend any day.