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Thanksgiving is for thanking

jennaopinionsIt happened again: another successful Thanksgiving involving too much green bean casserole, too few choices for potatoes and too many pleasant conversations with family members who tried desperately to avoid bringing up politics around the dinner table.

Like so many other Americans, my family experiences a post-holiday coma. No, this is not because we have stuffed ourselves with too much food and not enough activity. It is because we have realized the truth: there’s nothing to be thankful for if it’s not the fourth Thursday of November.

What is my motivation even to get out of bed? I could have had that deluxe memory foam mattress, but no, it’s too expensive. And I certainly don’t make enough money writing for this paper that nobody reads. Uff da. Looks like I’ll never be able to sleep on a cloud.

No, the only day I can truly be thankful, like the rest of my family and so many other Americans, is the one holiday that tells me how to feel. And boy, am I thankful on that day. After all, it’s the only time of year where it’s actually acceptable to eat pumpkin pie. Even though every other food is flavored pumpkin between October and December, pie only gets one day to reign as the best pumpkin-flavored food in existence. I have sworn loyalty to that food for the rest of my life, but it only comes once a year. Every other day is completely unacceptable to eat pumpkin pie—unless it’s leftovers, of course. Why should we be thankful for other pies, when we know they’re just not as good? And why are pies only really served around the holidays, anyway? I have so many unanswered questions.

All of these questions just reinforce the same idea: every other day of the year is complete garbage. Life sucks. You have to struggle to find nationally broadcasted dog shows.

Naps are not automatically scheduled into the day without any judgment from your mother. If it’s not Thanksgiving, life is pointless.

That’s why I’m always thankful for this nationally scheduled holiday that tells me exactly how to feel for one day of the year. As soon as it’s over, I’m back to hating everything again, but for a blissful 24 hours, I can enjoy the plethora of blessings around me. For one day, I can recognize the true beauty of private property, privilege, pumpkin pie and other valuable words that start with “p.”

Black Friday, though? No, I’m not thankful for that. Think about all those things I don’t have. Think about those lines. Think about all those people. I can’t decide if it’s worse to be forced to interact with hundreds of strangers as I fight through a sea of people in the store, or to go without that 60-inch flat screen television for yet another year.

Either way, it will be a long time until the next Thanksgiving rolls around. I’ll be waiting quite a while to recognize all the wonderful people and things I have in my life. After all, Thanksgiving only comes once a year.

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