Don’t Forget the Turkey! Remembering to Celebrate Thanksgiving

Maya Sabbaghian, Co Editor-in-Chief

Visiting relatives, scarfing down mashed potatoes, watching the Macy’s Parade… it must be almost Thanksgiving. However, in recent years, it seems that this holiday also means that stores are advertising sales in anticipation of Black Friday (Nov. 25) and displaying inflatable snowmen, ornaments and other Christmas decorations.

People need to shift more focus to the Thanksgiving holiday itself in order to truly celebrate it for its purpose: to give thanks and be grateful for everything in life.

The history of Thanksgiving is a long and complicated one, but as elementary school plays often depict, the “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated by the Pilgrims and Native Americans in 1621 for having an exceptional harvest. According to, the Pilgrims held other “thanksgivings” throughout the year to pray. President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving an official holiday in 1863 during the Civil War as a reminder to be grateful for the blessings in life.

The day after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday, is a public holiday in many states where stores have the biggest markdowns of the year and is regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.  

In 2016, “More than 154 million consumers shopped in stores and online, which was about 3 million more than last year,” according to CNN Money.

Black Friday’s proximity to Thanksgiving draws attention away from the “holiday of giving thanks” as many people spend Thanksgiving night camping out in front of stores or getting a head-start on shopping.

An even bigger focus is placed on Christmas, or more specifically, Christmas shopping. Instead of displaying Thanksgiving decorations, most stores skip from Halloween to Christmas items.

According to Yahoo!Finance, Target is trying to delay the “Christmas Creep,” which is “the feeling that the holidays (and holiday deals) seem to start earlier every year.” Target is one of the first few companies that has decided to make a conscious effort in putting more focus on Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is a time where everyone comes together and, despite any hardships, takes the time to appreciate what they have. People need to be more mindful of celebrating Thanksgiving for its purpose, and not only limiting this gratitude-giving to one day of the year but practicing it every day. Instead of shopping for Christmas decorations or strategizing for Black Friday shopping, spend this next week focusing on Thanksgiving and expressing gratitude.