The Leadoff: Thanksgiving is the Christmas of holidays


Thanksgiving is finally here and I think it's time we recognize the greatness of the holiday. Of all the holidays, Thanksgiving is treated the worst. It is the red-headed stepchild of the holidays. Thanksgiving is that cousin that comes to dinner at the holidays that is super cool but is constantly overshadowed by his older sister that is the golden child in the family because she won a spelling bee in fourth grade. Thanksgiving is the beautifully misunderstood German Shepherd that is placed between a yellow lab and a litter of puppies at the animal shelter and isn't adopted for weeks because everyone has been watching too much “Cops” and thinks he will bite them.

My point is, Thanksgiving doesn't get the respect it deserves as a premier holiday. First and foremost, Thanksgiving always leads to a four-day weekend. It is on the third Thursday in November every year, meaning you always get Thursday off, and unless you work for Lucifer himself, you also have Friday off. That fact alone vaults Thanksgiving over most holidays. Do we get any time off for Halloween? Well, seeing as I got home from work at 10 p.m. on a Halloween Tuesday this year without a trick-or-treater in sight, that is a clear no. Labor Day is pretty cool, but only one day. Veterans Day, also cool, also only one day.

I think the most blatant sign of disrespect to Thanksgiving is how many people seemingly just skip right over it. One day people are painting their faces and watching scary movies and the next day they are slurping back on some eggnog while humming “Little Drummer Boy” in their head. It’s ridiculous and frankly, embarrassing. Halloween is just Valentine's Day with a better PR team. Too many people get tied up in the pageantry of Halloween; sure you can dress up, but once you are over the age of 25 everyone will judge you for it.

Thanksgiving is also football’s holiday. What other holidays have a built-in distraction to help you ignore your distant relatives clammering for how things were “back in my day”? Sure there is basketball on Christmas but they aren't shooting hoops at 7 a.m. while I’m sitting on my parents’ couch wondering how I got conned into waking up early on my day off. There are football games running all day to help build a sort of a digital buffer; I know I am not the only one that has heard a relative calling my name in the distance and pretended I couldn't hear them because the TV was up too loud.

Ever heard of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? It’s majestic.

I mean, Thanksgiving dinner is absolutely fantastic. I love it all, the turkey, the green bean casserole, the rolls and the pie, but someone explain to me why we only eat Thanksgiving once a year? Do they even sell turkeys year round? Why on Thanksgiving is turkey cut all thick and juicy and delightful and the rest of the year I get it in a small plastic bag in the lunch meat aisle with a weird amount of juice left over at the bottom?

Hell, Thanksgiving even has Black Friday built in! What holiday helps you prepare for other holidays? Name me a more selfless holiday? And what is funnier than watching the dichotomy of people getting into literal fist fights over a toy just hours after they showed appreciation for all they are thankful for?

The next argument to be had is if Thanksgiving is better than Christmas, but for now all I’m worried about is making Thanksgiving great again.

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