Editorial: Many reasons to give thanks on Thanksgiving

By on November 21, 2012

It’s funny how one’s perception of Thanksgiving will develop during their life.

For many children, the Thanksgiving holiday represents a nice, long break from school, as well as the opportunity to consume some pretty tasty food in honor of the pilgrims who dined in Plymouth almost 400 years ago. Maybe these kids will get a chance to see a movie and do some shopping with their parents on Black Friday; maybe they’re excited to see the holiday parades that typically take place the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

For teens and young adults, Thanksgiving can take on an entirely different life. There’s still a mighty long break from school, but with the great food comes the opportunity to watch a Detroit Lions loss (in horrific fashion, typically; sometimes to the extent that their players have no choice but to repeatedly stomp on players from the opposing team), and a flavor-of-the-week act performance during halftime of the Dallas Cowboys game. If these teens and young adults are hardcore football fans, they’ll resist post-dinner sleepiness just enough to watch the third game of the day. Otherwise, they’re either off with friends for the night or planning out an unbeatable Black Friday shopping strategy with family members.

At some point, however, a person will realize that, while it’s nice to spend Thanksgiving overdosing on football, turkey and ‘80s film marathons (no truth to the rumor that TBS is legally obligated to air “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “The Breakfast Club” and “Adventures in Babysitting” on the fourth Tuesday in November each year), the true meaning of Thanksgiving lay in the company we keep on that day.

Thanksgiving, stripped to its core, is about more than simply giving thanks for what we have; rather, it’s about giving thanks for those who we have in our lives—the people who help us keep perspective and understand that friendship is indeed the richest currency in existence. This was what the pilgrims celebrated when they dined on that fateful day in 1621, and it’s an example that still carries validity centuries later.

Friends and family make it possible to endure a heavily edited airing of “The Breakfast Club.” Most important, they make it OK to overeat and then overeat some more.

This Thanksgiving, take a moment to appreciate the most important people in your life, and revel in the fact that your loved ones appreciate your presence in their life, as well.

After all, your friends and family aren’t coming over to watch the Detroit Lions lose, they’re coming over to spend the holiday with you.