Every year, Thanksgiving arrives before Christmas. And yet every year, we continue to creep up the date of when it is acceptable to start doing Christmas-y things.
Now more than ever, it seems to be happening immediately after Halloween is over. I was an actual eyewitness to the crime that Wal-Mart committed in early October of having Christmas decorations up simultaneously with Halloween decorations – even on back-to-back aisles.
Within the UT community, there seems to be a great divide upon this point – on one side the avid lovers of all things Christmas who literally start playing Christmas music the first of November, and on the other side the curmudgeons who say, "no," to Christmas spirits before Thanksgiving.
As a passionate advocate of the latter, I implore you not to leave Thanksgiving out. You might counter with the fact that you're not leaving Thanksgiving out, you still celebrate it in between all of your caroling and Christmas gift shopping and tree decorating. But that doesn't quite count. Thanksgiving deserves its own period of celebration too.
For us, as corny as it sounds, Thanksgiving should truly be a time of thanks. Being able to be college students makes us better educated than 93 percent of the world. Besides that, though, we are broke college kids that still have cars, phones, laptops, warm beds and some kind of food. And not only do we have material things, but most of us are also blessed with having friends, family, mentors, co-workers and any manner of other people who sincerely care about us.
With all of these wonderful things that we have in our lives, why not take the first couple of weeks in November to actually give thanks for them?
By rushing right past Thanksgiving, we're also forgetting about the awesome history behind the holiday. I know, all holidays have some kind of cool history, but just think about Thanksgiving's especially for a minute.
In November of 1621, the settlers of Plymouth Rock and the Native American Wampanoag tribe held a feast together to celebrate their newfound friendship and also give thanks for the Pilgrim's first successful corn harvest. The whole event lasted for three days, and though their food may have looked a little different than ours, the message was the same: be thankful.
It was not until 1863 in the midst of the Civil War that Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving to be a national holiday and set it to be the fourth Thursday in November. In 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt tried to get it moved to the third Thursday in November in order to increase sales during the Great Depression, but the general public outcry was against "Franksgiving," and he was forced to move it back. Additionally, perhaps one of the neatest facets of Thanksgiving is that it is also one of the only exclusively American holidays.
Maybe I'm such a stalwart supporter of the holiday because I am a "turkey baby," born the day before Thanksgiving. There's something magical about it that's not quite like any other holiday, though it probably traces back to the simplicity that it involves – just reuniting with the ones you love and eating a meal together.
Hold off on your Christmas ornaments and renditions of "Holly Jolly Christmas," and instead pull out the pumpkins, turkeys and a copy of "Planes, Trains and Automobiles."
Christmas can wait for a couple more weeks.
Victoria Knight is a senior in microbiology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.