By: Jensen Brushwood

The day after Halloween, I went shopping and thought it was Christmas. Santa displays were making appearances, candy canes were plentiful, and I saw almost a dozen Christmas sweaters. Candles, soldiers, snowmen, and presents made of tinsel were displayed on light posts. Christmas plays opened the next weekend. We had officially entered ‘The Most Wonderful Time of the Year’. But why did it feel wrong? October was over, then would come November and then Christmas and New Years. That was all fine and good, but I started going through November day by day, looking for a birthday or anniversary I might have missed. What I found is much more important than any birthday or anniversary.

I found Thanksgiving Day. It seems like this holiday gets more and more overlooked every year. Even the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade celebrates Santa Claus’s arrival in Times Square, NY. But is this the reason for Thanksgiving? Santa, trees, presents, snow, and football? No! none of that has anything to do with Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving always has been, and still is, a time to sit down with family and friends, ever since the tradition started with Pilgrims and Native Americans sitting down to give thanks…. For what?

Thanks for a few grains of corn, thanks for peace, and thanks for a place away from a king who would persecute them for wanting to believe in something bigger than themselves. They had little food. They had little shelter and a high death rate. But they found a reason to give thanks. We all know times are tough and may get tougher, but surely all of us have a reason to be thankful. Why should we skip a day that is set aside for finding that reason?

Challenge yourself, America. Weather you have the traditional turkey and trimmings or a microwave pizza, a house full of relatives or an empty apartment, take some time to sit down, eat your fill, and give thanks.

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