March 21, 2019

Thanksgiving v. Christmas: An orgy of holiday cheer

Ashley Westbrook is a senior journalism major and staff writer for The Journal

When Thanksgiving rolls around, I’m excited. This is that one time of the year when I get five days off from school and I’m not worrying about my waistline. I am only concerned with how much food I can pile on my plate and how many family members will sip a little too much and talk about “The Ol’ Days.” But there is always one thing that ruins my plate piling activities: Christmas music and decorations.
I’m no Grinch. I like Christmas, but it really takes away from the more appropriate, less self-involved holiday of Thanksgiving. So, because Christmas gets ALL the good press (despite what Fox News might tell you about the “War on Christmas”) I’ve decided to put together a little list. Here are some basic comparisons of the two biggest days of the holiday season.
GIVING
Thanksgiving: No gifts! We don’t have to worry about making mad dashes to the shopping malls and finding the right idea in a box.
Christmas: Seeing someone’s face light up after they have opened up the gift you made for them pays off, it’s just spending the money that physically hurts.
MUSIC
Thanksgiving: Puritans didn’t leave a book of jolly music behind, so harmonic voices aren’t needed. Just focus on eating.
Christmas: The angelic music starts as early as November 1st, reminding everyone at the local grocery store that Christmas is right around the corner.
SHOPPING
Thanksgiving: Every shopping mall has banded together to deny that Thanksgiving is an actual holiday because there aren’t any “Thanksgiving Sales.” Most stores and restaurants will be closed, but anybody working in retail on Black Friday knows that Thanksgiving shopping is not unusual.
Christmas: Extended shopping hours and more sales than you can shake a stick at. Stores will be open late for you workers, ready and willing to take that most recent paycheck of yours.
FOOD STUFFS
Thanksgiving: Eating. Eating. Eating. That’s all. Oh, and more eating.
Christmas: Probably a family meal, but it won’t compare to the spread and spectacle of Thanksgiving dinner.
DECORATIONS
Thanksgiving: Paper-turkeys and fake leaves aside, we are spared much of the gaudy decorations that pop up once December arrives.
Christmas: Everywhere people turn, tinsel, fake snow, stars and fake pine trees are sprouting up  to put you in the mood. And, of course, the lights, the many colored plentiful lights.
MOVIES
Thanksgiving: There are the ABC Family and Lifetime movies catered to the holiday. They aren’t uniquely sappy or overly emotional around this time of year.
Christmas: Too many Christmas movies tocount; it’s just that the Christmas commercials featuring Usher, Martha Stewart and Jessica Simpson are so much better.
SPORTS
Thanksgiving: There is a football line-up on Thanksgiving. Pigskin is almost as much of the holiday as pumpkin pie.
Christmas: NBA naughtiness aside, most sports grind to a halt for the winter solstice.
SPECTACLE
Thanksgiving: One of the biggest and oldest parades in the country, sponsored by Macy’s, is a massive cultural staple of Thanksgiving. It’s an honor amongst honors to be involved in.
Christmas: There’s a Hollywood Christmas Parade in November, but it isn’t thrown by Macy’s, and there won’t be massive television crowds tuning in it.
FINAL THOUGHTS
Thanksgiving & Christmas: Both holidays do try get down to one unique idea: family. Each day, ask family from everywhere to come over, eat and be merry. But we must not lose the importance of one just to emphasize the gift-giving of the other.

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