#Thanksgiving, the Forgotten, and Often Unloved Holiday

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#Thanksgiving seems to be the hidden holiday tucked between Christmas and Halloween. We all know about it, but no one really decorates for it or gets excited for it months in advance as they do for Halloween and Christmas. Those two holidays get the lion’s share of decorations as houses all throughout the neighborhood put up creepy spider webs for the one or the inflatable Santas for the other.

When’s the last time you saw an inflatable turkey on someone’s lawn? Or a pilgrim diorama on their roof? You’ve certainly never seen a Nativity-like scene with wooden pilgrim figurines around a long table.

The fact of the matter is we have generic “fall” décor, such as fall-colored leaves, orange and yellow wreaths, even pumpkins and scarecrows and hay bales. But the holiday of Thanksgiving, if we’re honest, is nothing more than a huge dinner where you invite all your family, and more often than not, are more thankful when it’s over than before it’s begun.

The preparation for Thanksgiving only needs to involve the grocery store, not Target or the craft store. Meal planning is the only planning unless you’re planning to travel. The draw of Thanksgiving seems to be more toward food we never eat throughout the year rather than reconnecting with your crazy Uncle Larry.

Let’s face it, who eats green bean casserole on a normal Thursday in March? Who busts out the candied yams in June? No one actually roasts a turkey on the regular. This holiday seems to be somewhat of an anomaly, where we prepare traditional foods rather than decorate, or even want to celebrate in the first place. Does anyone actually like turkey?

The best part about Thanksgiving, obviously, is the pie. But even here, we make traditional pies rather than what we really like. If you can choke down pumpkin pie without a mountain of whipped cream, more power to you. Some people love it, others hate it, but there’s rarely the person who really doesn’t care. Pecan pie is another favorite for the day and happens to be one of the most delicious pies known to man. Apple is also served, which is acceptable, being that it’s straight-up American. Believe it or not, however, some people serve strange pies on Thanksgiving, such as cherry or… any berry pie, actually. These are not traditional Thanksgiving Day fare, and as such, do not belong on the traditional Thanksgiving Day table.

At the end of the day, there’ll be a heated debate about who’ll win the football game this year, the kids will be wondering what’s for dinner because you ate at 2 pm, and the clean-up will be a nightmare. But amid all the hassle of meal prep, housework, headaches, and two solid days of baking, your family is together, your bellies are full, and your crazy Uncle Larry will be snoring on the couch in a turkey coma. Perhaps there’s something to be thankful for after all.

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