OPINION: Don’t forget Thanksgiving

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Cameron Gorman headshot

Cameron Gorman

It’s hard for me to say this, but October is over. That means the end of the month of Halloween, the flickering glow of Jack O’Lanterns on neighborhood porches, and, yes, spooky szn. My beloved holiday has finally passed. That is, for most of the world. If you truly believe in spookiness and black clothing, it can last for the whole year. So, what does that mean? Well, in today’s retail-driven world, it means that we must plunge headlong into the next holiday on the calendar.

Christmasssssssss. (Hissed in sinister tone.)

That’s right. It’s November, only about two weeks since the most wonderfully outrageous holiday of the year, and we can’t even grieve properly. Already the Target and Walmart shelves are full of holiday wreaths and tongue-in-cheek Hanukkah sweaters. The aisle caps have all been transformed into gift idea signs. And on the radio, car dealership commercials will soon have weird elf voices.

But I’m not bitter. Not resistant to the pine-scented holidays. I’m simply slower to adapt to the change. After all, the holiday season and Halloween couldn’t be much different. For Halloween, you can be anyone your heart desires. Can you dress up as a “Sexy Hamburger Clown” (yes, that’s a real costume name) for Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa? Fine, maybe you can. But should you?

We need time for Halloween’s beautiful ghost to settle in our souls before the jingly din of Christmas takes over the commercial and cultural world. November is supposed to be that buffer, my friends. More importantly, Thanksgiving is supposed to be that moment of rest. Dear major retailers and broadcast stations: Let us have it!

Now, don’t get me wrong. Of course I love the winter holidays. Nothing warms my cold, college student heart more than family, togetherness and fires in the fireplace. I love celebrating Christmas with my family and Hanukkah with my boyfriend’s family, looking for a Christmas tree, wrapping presents.

But I also love Thanksgiving! I love the food, the camaraderie and the relaxation. I love the many variations on bread, potatoes and carbohydrates it provides us. If you ask me, Thanksgiving just might be the most relaxed, laid-back holiday there is for Americans.

You don’t have to buy gifts for anyone either. You don’t have to get all dressed up, unless you want to. There’s not too much decorating to accomplish, no planning outside of the menu. All you’re really expected to do (besides have a few political arguments) is to eat a meal with your friends or family, to take in the warmth and to watch some sports (if that’s your thing.)

It’s a holiday to remind us of everything in our lives that’s good, when life in the present can make it so easy to focus on the bad.

I love Thanksgiving. I prefer the Peanuts Thanksgiving special over the Christmas one. I like the food, the pure moments of connection, the pickle tray. It’s a great inhale before the madness of the holiday season, a dinner before the storm. Yes, the retail shelves may have convinced themselves that it’s time for us to launch headfirst into the din of red and green and tinsel — but that doesn’t mean that we can’t first give ourselves one last autumnal moment of rest.

This year, let’s not forget the simple joy of Thanksgiving. Let’s allow ourselves to sit down for a while, to be with those we love, and to enjoy the last of a snow-less ground. If for nothing else, at least, for our own right to love, elastic waistbands and mashed potatoes.

Cameron Gorman is a columnist. Contact her at [email protected]