7 Reasons Why Thanksgiving is the Best Holiday


If I did not introduce my Thanksgiving Day post with an inclusion of what the List Off writers are thankful for, then I’m almost positive Squanto, the Wampanoag tribe, and the Pilgrims of Plymouth would ensure we never post one more list without taking the time to think about how grateful we are.

Colin Holmes: I’m thankful that Bond 23 is finally filming, even though the title is stupid (Skyfall). Here’s hoping it ends with Daniel Craig porking a girl on a boat like Sean Connery and Roger Moore before him.

Jim Adair: I have so much to be thankful for every day, but you don’t care about that here. What I want to say I am thankful for here is simple: music. It can change a mood, make or break a day, form feelings or dash them before they even had a chance to form. It can change who you are, what you do, what you see, and it becomes a part of you, for better or worse. So when friends, family, hometowns and girlfriends come and go, music is just a hum or a whistle away.

Shawn Gamez: I’m thankful for chocolate milk, gel pens, art, historical inaccuracies, My Brother My Brother and Me podcast, intelligent women, sister-made bow ties, David Carradine, grilled cheese and dead leaves on the dirty ground.

Dan Connolly: I’m thankful Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will have a new album and tour next year. I’m thankful for the unsubscribe function on Facebook. I’m thankful for Mike Pop’s Twitter account. I’m thankful my girlfriend is back on the East Coast and doesn’t live in California anymore. I’m thankful Jeopardy has never changed its format. I’m thankful for the ability to capture memories, especially the ones that create something larger than the moment.

Now, the seven reasons why Thanksgiving is the best American Holiday.

There is an overall, positive mood on Thanksgiving. Sure, this could be said about any holiday. But I would argue the joy emitted during Thanksgiving celebrations is at its pinnacle. It’s the first week since the summer months where people are able to unwind, enjoy time off, and go back home to reconnect with others whom they haven’t seen in quite a while (there is a reason why Thanksgiving Eve is, historically, the busiest bar night of the year—who isn’t back home on Thanksgiving?).

It’s ideal, permanent placement. A great quality of Thanksgiving easily taken for granted is its’ calendar stability. With other national celebrations, trying to figure out what day the holiday lands on ahead of time, and if we’ll be off from work the next day can be discouraging. With Thanksgiving, no calculating is necessary. It will forever be the fourth Thursday in November, and it will lead right into the chaos of Black Friday, or as I call it, Friday.

Thanksgiving is nationally observed. It’s quite simple: If you are a citizen of the United States, you celebrate Thanksgiving. There really is no gray area of uncertainty as to who commemorates Thanksgiving. There is no need to express the politically correct “happy holidays” to make certain a stranger or acquaintance won’t take religious offense, because religion is unrelated to Thanksgiving. The very basis of the holiday is an all-inclusive gathering of gratitude, which is a belief system in itself that every American should stand for.

There are no gimmicks on Thanksgiving. Where some holidays have been warped into reasons to spend excessive time and money to the point where we forget what ‘s being celebrated, Thanksgiving got it right. You won’t see sappy Thanksgiving commercials with cheesy Thanksgiving music, because there are no such advertisements or songs (except for this and that) in existence. Thanksgiving is the OG of the national holidays, and it doesn’t care how hip your over-the-top activities are, Fourth of July.

Football is a Thanksgiving Day tradition. Since the National Football League’s inception in 1920, there has been football played on Thanksgiving. Both the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys host games during the Thanksgiving Classic (since 1934 and 1966, respectively). And beginning in 2006, a third game has been added to the lineup, as a nightcap, marquee matchup. If the kitchen is taken up by food on this day, then the living room is taken up by football. All three television networks have awards coined the “All-Iron Award,” the “Galloping Goblin,” and the “Pudding Pie Award,” which are given out to the MVP of the respective game. Thanksgiving contests are known for their wild finishes, too, like the Leon Lett slide kick in 1993 and the Jerome Bettis coin toss call in overtime in 1998.

Each family member/friend loves at least one type of food on the dinner table. The amount of food cooked and consumed on Thanksgiving cannot be disregarded. Between the turkey, the side dishes, and the dessert segment of the everlasting dinner, it’s nearly impossible for each participant of the marathon meal not be drooling with anticipation over a specific portion. Naturally, though, the turkey captivates the room. Quarrels between the dark meat lovers and white meat lovers ensue. Turkey legs become prize possessions. The meal can also become a creative outlet for families. For instance, the turkey can be roasted, braised, grilled, or the ever popular deep-fried.

Last Thanksgiving, a neighbor and good friend researched the recommended way to deep-fry a turkey. Both he and his dad erected a makeshift tent in their backyard and setup a cooking area underneath. My family and I came over for the ceremonial turkey drop, taking pictures and bets on the size of the pending flames. Sadly, the execution was flawless, without any malfunctions. Despite their aptitude, the moment was majestic. And so was the taste. 

Thanksgiving is the initiation to the holiday season. I know there will be some arguing against Thanksgiving, with strong convictions that Christmas is the greatest of all holidays. I hear you. But, it’s the build up to Christmas that makes Christmas great–not the day itself. Christmas Day is just a look back at what the hell happened the last month, where the average person is joyously overwhelmed with gifts to buy, parties to attend, and love to seek. And that’s where Thanksgiving thrives, and fits so perfectly in our lives. It’s the catalyst to the anticipation that awaits. The tuneup to a subsequent month of pleasure-filled memories. The impetus of understanding how incredibly fortunate we are. Yes, Thanksgiving is bliss.

From myself, Colin, Jim, Shawn and even Mike Pop, we are collectively thankful for you, the reader.

We wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving.

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3 Comments on “7 Reasons Why Thanksgiving is the Best Holiday”

  1. 12.6.11 at 6:39 AM #

    Lol great post mate, hit me up if you need anyone to do some guest posts

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