8 Reasons Thanksgiving Is Actually The Worst
8 Reasons Thanksgiving Is Actually The Worst
What are we even celebrating again...?
Anyone else totally hate Thanksgiving?
In my family, I have a reputation for being a bit of a Scrooge. I never make plans to see fireworks on the Fourth of July, I never put a lot of effort into Halloween costumes (that is, if I'm dressing up at all), and even a few Christmas traditions lost their shine over the years.
But if you know me at all you know I sincerely and unabashedly hate Thanksgiving. Whatever the equivalent of bah humbug is for Thanksgiving, that's me.
Now, before you start brandishing your special holiday carving knife you use all of once a year, let me explain:
It's just another excuse to shop
Let's talk about what the real "holiday" is here: Black Friday. Half the time people eat Thanksgiving "dinner" at noon so they can go and get in line at the local stores to make sure they have a good spot in line for when the doors open at 4 am the next day. Prior to Black Friday, it's also just an excuse for us all to spend money (oftentimes money we don't have) for an abundance of food that will mostly go to waste anyway. Gobble gobble? More like grumble grumble.
It's sort of the forgotten holiday anyway
We start putting up Halloween decorations in August, and Christmas decorations take over the week before Halloween as it slowly fades out and we transition. But where are the Thanksgiving decorations? Outside of an abundance of turkeys, the only thing most people associate Thanksgiving with is another time to eat more than what you should and supposedly not feel bad about it (but we'll talk more about that in a minute).
What are we even celebrating?
Kindergarten taught me about pilgrims and Mayflowers and feasting with Native Americans and what a wonderful time we all had doing it. Five-year-old McKenna learned all about it—except for the part where nobody had a wonderful time, and Europeans swooped in, took the land and goods and gave everyone deadly diseases in return.
Oh, joy. Let's all gather round for green bean casserole while we ignore the terrible history that built this day.
As John Oliver so eloquently put during a 2015 episode of Last Week Tonight:
"There was only one time in American history when the fear of refugees wiping everyone out did actually come true, and we'll all be sitting around a table celebrating it on Thursday."
If I had a dollar for every time the phrases "Too many cooks in the kitchen," "Don't snap at me, I'm just trying to help," or "This is taking way longer than expected," were spoken during my family's Thanksgiving dinners growing up, I could buy my own small city and ban Thanksgiving.
I know what you're thinking. "McKenna, don't you dare try to tell me Thanksgiving food isn't good, you Debbie Downer, Thanksgiving-hating troll."
And you know what? I agree with you (well, except for the "troll" comment—that seemed a bit harsh).
Thanksgiving food is delicious (cranberry sauce excluded). What's not delicious is the excessive prep-time, the high cost, and the exhausting cleanup. Honestly, I'd rather just make a quick run to Starbucks, and grab myself a Holiday Turkey and Stuffing Panini. Have you tried those things? They're incredible.
Pick up a couple of those and go marathon Friends with your family. It's a lot cheaper and a lot easier to clean up.
Everything is closed
Talk about inconvenient. Ever try to get any real work done on Thanksgiving? It's impossible. Everything is closed, (or closes early) but yet the roads are still jam-packed with people trying to get to Nana's house before the gravy congeals.
It's basically Thanksgiving's sadistic way of saying, "Don't even try doing anything else besides staying in and paying attention to me. It's not worth it."
It's a total monopoly
Thanksgiving owns the fourth Thursday in November. Not only is everything closed, but if you're a hater like me, everyone thinks you're somehow sad or weird for not celebrating.
Here's a fun experiment: Think back on your week so far. Now try to recall how many times a stranger told you to have a Happy Thanksgiving. You didn't mention Thanksgiving. Hell, if you're like me, you probably forgot Thanksgiving was even this week until about three hours ago. Did that stop people from assuming you were a Thanksgiving day celebrator? No.
It means Christmas is only a month away
Thanks, Turkey Day. As if I needed another reminder that I'm way behind on my shopping and need to figure out a way to take time off work while somehow still being able to afford a plane ticket home for Christmas.
Yes, I hate Thanksgiving. It is by far my least favorite holiday.
That being said...
It'd be disingenuous not to mention how much I adore my family, how awesome I think it is to have a day made just for celebrating each other and all the good in our lives, and how grateful I am for all of the insanely stressful, laughter-filled, sarcasm-fueled Thanksgivings in my life. I'm lucky. I may hate the holiday, but any day filled with family, food, love and support is worth celebrating.
I guess what I'm saying is that the spirit of Thanksgiving can stay. The whole giving thanks and being grateful part. The day itself, and all of its odd traditions, can leave.