Well. My least favorite holiday is upon us once again. It’s not Arbor Day, Tax Day or Election Day (even though I’m a Republican). No, dear readers, my least favorite holiday is that “glorious” day known as Thanksgiving.
I have never been a fan of the turkey, the cornucopias or the pumpkin pie that never seems to turn out just right. I hate the awkward family exchanges between great uncles and second cousins (hello, Riordan twins) who I see once a year. I even dislike my favorite Thanksgiving food, cornbread stuffing, due to the fact that it’s purely just a mound of bread smothered in chicken broth and celery (gross).
But perhaps the reason I hate Thanksgiving most of all is that after Thanksgiving, there’s literally no time left to accomplish all the things I’ve set forth to complete before the end of the semester. I still haven’t made all As in all my classes (there’s still hope for Symbolic Logic, though, right, Dr. Brown?). I still haven’t started writing my history thesis paper (which I will attempt to do over break, fingers crossed), and I still haven’t finalized my future plans for next year when I will officially no longer be an undergrad. In short, Thanksgiving stresses me out.
However, when I voiced my disdain for the celebration that inaccurately commemorates historical dealings with the peaceful indigenous people of this country (apologies, still a history major), I was faced with counter-rebuttals that Thanksgiving was in fact a day in which I could relax, spend time with my family and long lost friends, and count my blessings in my life. This strong argument got me thinking. What things, if any, am I thankful for this year? I would say that I’m thankful to be graduating, but in reality the thought of entering law school or any real life work scenario gives me indigestion and panic attacks. So that’s not really a blessing. I would say that I am thankful for the weather and for democratic elections, but a) Superstorm Sandy hit and b) we didn’t swing it Romney style last week (OHIO, still bitter).
Thus, I must go to the most typical and basic things for which I can be thankful. I am thankful that there are courageous people out there who serve and defend our country. I am thankful that I have loving parents, a sweet little sister and vivacious grandparents who are still alive. I am thankful that I have friends who hang out with me despite my insane personality quirks. I am thankful that I go to a school that has professors who care about how you fare in their classes. I am thankful that I have running water, electricity, vaccinations, a cell phone, the freedom of speech, the ability to read, the ability to Tweet and the right to update my status.
Interestingly enough, whilst making this tongue-in-cheek list of “basic” things that I am thankful for, I realized that these things and people in my life are not so basic at all. I have been blessed in so many ways by the efforts and advancements other people have made. This tells me that I need to step up my game. It’s time to stop lollygagging and begin working towards gaining the perseverance and determination that a soldier in the Middle East, a working mother of two and an iPhone inventor all possess. Once again, I am under stress to be better, to do better and to strive for more because of all this Thanksgiving discourse. More. Stress.
In an effort to console myself about the great stress and duress of this impending Thanksgiving fiasco “¦ or holiday “¦ I turned to my favorite quotes of inspiration. Though very few intellectuals, writers or scholars discuss this day of Thanksgiving (it must stress them out, too), I found one to share with you all. This Thanksgiving, as William Wordsworth said, “Rest and be thankful.” Count your blessings, friends, and realize that even though Thanksgiving marks the hectic nearing of the end of a year, it also marks a day in which we can celebrate the most minuscule.
Gabrielle Shayeb is a senior majoring in history.