Occupy Thanksgiving

This is written in defense of Thanksgiving. Somebody needs to do it. It is not the “holiday season” right now. It is not time for your colored, tacky lights. It is NOT time for Christmas trees or shopping. Slow your roll, people. It’s turkey time.

Thanksgiving is by far a superior holiday to Christmas, yet we give it so little respect. This one is for Thanksgiving.

1. Thanksgiving is much kinder to your bank account. You buy a turkey, side dishes, desserts, wine, etc. Christmas, on the other hand, includes gifts, cards, postage, food, travel, and a tree. Forbes estimated on average (without including travel) people spend around $1,000 on Christmas, and I think this is a low estimate. On average, Thanksgiving can cost between $50-$100 to feed up to 10 people.

2. Do you really want to have a Christmas tree in your house for more than a month? Vacuuming the needles, watering the plant, keeping the kids or cat from hanging on it. It’s cumbersome after a month.

3. Enough already with the shopping. Thanksgiving is still about family time and togetherness ( I know this is not where Thanksgiving originated), but overall its purpose now is about gratitude for family. Yes, Christmas is also about family, but just being with them is not enough. It’s about pleasing them with presents. I know, I know, but you enjoy the giving. But really, what does the new XBox-Wii-iplug mean? It distracts from being with family, in my humble opinion. What about the giving of our love, ourselves? To put it bluntly, Thanksgiving is about showing gratitude through words and time, while Christmas tries to do the same with presents and glitter.

4. How often do you buy something? Every day. How often do you sit down or discuss what you’re thankful for? Hmmmmm. I bet you spend money more often. Thanksgiving is a moment to pause and step away from the norm. Christmas is the amplified norm.

5. I know, what about Jesus? Jesus always wins, right? Not on this blog. Don’t take the Christ out of Christmas, they say as they swipe their credit card for $120 at Bath & Body Works, buying candles and perfumes and lotions for co-workers and second cousins that would never want to smell like a Twisted Peppermint or Winter Candy Apple. From what I know about Jesus, I think he’d like Thanksgiving much more: he liked wine, he liked conversations with groups of people, and he really liked gratitude. “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). Yes, I googled that. But, I think it points out the need to first establish thanksgiving and joy in our everyday circumstances without the gifts and hoopla. If you would stop celebrating Christmas so early, baby Jesus would be happier. 😉

Disclaimer: I know I am generalizing about how people treat Christmas, but this is the main type of behavior I see.

6. When Thanksgiving is over I feel rejuvenated, full, content, reconnected. When Christmas is over and the wrapping paper is stuffed into large garbage bags, I feel exhausted.

I’m not arguing to stop celebrating Christmas. Not at all. I am simply stating that due to the way these holidays have evolved Thanksgiving has virtues far beyond Christmas’s, yet people want to push it aside before it’s even gotten started. Give Thanksgiving a chance; it might surprise you. If you can’t agree with me, would you at least, please, not play Christmas music around me. I have an allotted amount of that music that I can take in, and I have to save it for my husband.


Thank you, Nordstrom, for honoring one holiday at a time. It’s sad that this concept is news worthy.


12 thoughts on “Occupy Thanksgiving

  1. this gave me a chuckle. all i could think was how lucky you are to WANT to spend time with your family at thanksgiving. more than likely i’ll be checking my watch waiting for “family time” to end. {not talking about my hubby & baby boy, of course! just the extended family.} 😉

    • You’re right. I am totally thankful for enjoying family at thanksgiving. Although, I should have defined family in broader terms. I usually mean our “chosen” families as well.

      Glad I made you chuckle. Score!

  2. Amen sister!!! We’re in the car on the way to Richmond and I read your post out loud. Matt says “the Gitzingers like your post….and turkey”. 🙂 Very well written!

  3. Gratitudes win. Presents lose. I have never felt happier about Christmas than this year, when our family is taking a weekend to be together and visit and cook and play…and buying NO gifts. It’s not about stuff….it’s about finding joy. Thanks for this blog Megan!!!

  4. I agree. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! Thanksgiving always leaves me with a good feeling after spending quality time with the family. A belly full of oysters also helps!

  5. Great post Megan! It’s so true…besides that –buying a bunch of new plastic stuff at Wal H#!!
    has nothing to do with Christmas anyway..it all wears me out…Just wait til you get to be {Santa}…
    THAT is exhausting…

    • I know. I wonder if when I become parent it will change the way I feel about Christmas…I hope that I’ll never become overly excessive, but who knows, right?

      Glad you liked the post.

  6. Occupy Thanksgiving, for real. Own it, work it, make it count.
    Then deal with Christmas when it gets here. Even with kids, I’m not playing the heck out of Santa. Each boy can get a gift. One. I was raised to make a bigger deal out of birthdays, and I plan on continuing that tradition.

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