Every year, Halloween comes and goes. Kids are left laying on the floor of their bedrooms in a candy coma haze. And then IT happens. Everyone starts talking about how because it is November 1st, we can start all the Christmas traditions: the music can play, the lights come out, we can put up our trees, and stores start their sales earlier and earlier.


When we do this, we are missing out on THE BEST holiday of the year: Thanksgiving! Just saying this elicits all kinds of grief and sassy responses. Well, let me give you some reasons why Thanksgiving is underrated and needs to be given a more prominent place on the calendar.

Of course, we have to begin with the most obvious. Turkey, dressing/stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, rolls, and pie, pie, pie! The food is amazing and we often eat far too much, but it is so delicious and worth the all day wait for it to all be completed.

After eating all that food, the tryptophan kicks in and you sleep for a nice nap and no one gets upset that you fall asleep. How can we ignore how awesome good food and a nap are?

There are three NFL games on Thanksgiving and then it becomes a long weekend of NCAA and NFL football games to watch. If you love football, you know the tradition of having sports on Thursday.

You may not care about Macy’s. But this parade was a family tradition. We watched the many marching bands, floats, balloons, and all the musical groups who walked this parade every year. My favorite was when He-man and the Masters of the Universe had a float. Go look it up. It was terrible…but so awesome.

Whatever your favorite childhood character or sitcom is, there is a Thanksgiving special. Charlie Brown, is of course, the best one. But it seems like there are plenty of shows to watch during prime time on Thanksgiving.

This is the holiday that I always remembered going and spending time with family somewhere. We didn’t do a lot of traveling for other holidays (other than Christmas). But we knew we were going to get to visit grandparents on Thanksgiving every year and I looked forward to it.

I love presents as much as the next guy, but Thanksgiving is great because you don’t have the added pressure of buying gifts for people. Less gift giving means less commercialization. Maybe this is why stores ignore Thanksgiving; you don’t have to buy a costume and you don’t have to buy presents. It just makes for a more laid-back holiday.

Every family has their traditions. Every family is proud of them. Because the holiday isn’t based on some kind of religious significance or on some kind of similarity with other people, we get to make our own traditions. For some, it’s the food. Our family always makes certain items and if we don’t have them, it doesn’t feel right. It might be the bread, the casseroles, or the pies. Without one, you don’t feel like you had a proper Thanksgiving. We like to play card games or try out a new board game. I am usually still coming out of the coma when they begin, but I do like to refresh my eyes and then join in on the fun.

There are a lot of people trying to turn the pilgrims into some kind of evil, colonizing and racist group of people. The real story is one of unity and friendship. The story of Squanto helping make the new settlers feel welcome in their new home and becoming family with them is one that makes me think about the blessings I have in my life. It is a reason to spend some time each year being thankful for what we have and expressing how God has blessed us.

The great thing about having such a lavish meal is that there is always leftover food to make awesome turkey sandwiches the next day.

I can think of a dozen more reasons why Thanksgiving is the best. Let me add another thought here though. 2020 has been tough and I cannot see how much of what we are dealing with will just disappear when the holidays hit. So this is the first year I am okay if people need to have Christmas at the forefront of their minds to get them through the difficult days. Go ahead, play your Christmas music. Decorate your trees. But don’t forget to spend time being thankful and just rest in the November holiday that is up ahead.