Dressing comes with a side of imperialism, greed

Illustration by Emily Brinkman.

Illustration by Emily Brinkman.

Thanksgiving has taken on a variety of different forms throughout my childhood. I’ve had the traditional style of going to my grandmother’s home with everyone in the family, and I’ve had the Thanksgivings where it was just my family watching movies and grabbing food whenever we wanted it. 

The more recent Thanksgivings include us running to Honey Baked Ham for goods to bring home and then listening to music while watching football. 

With how draining this semester has been for many students, including myself, everyone is looking for the quickest escape out from waking up at 8 a.m. for their morning class or staying past 6:15 p.m. for their evening class. 

Don’t get me wrong. A break of any kind is exciting to have when stressing about school 24/7, but through the years, my holiday spirit has waned. 

Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time of expressing gratitude toward others and God since it is mentioned several times in the Bible. In recent times, this is mainly recognized properly through the prayer before eating. After that, it is full-on gluttony and greed to fill your plate up and break your belt loops. Not saying that it is wrong at all; it’s just ironic. 

What is also ironic is the created story of Thanksgiving in the United States being a completely messed up story educators still tell children. 

The English settlers came to America and were starving since they did not know how to harvest food and were probably going to die throughout the winter. The Natives saw them dying on their own soil, so they felt generously shared their crops with them and taught them how to harvest in the New World. 

A few months later, boom! The English continued to encroach upon their land, disrespecting them and their culture. The English then started a war killing them with guns and diseases when the Natives only had bows and arrows, leaving them few opportunities to successfully thrive.

The taste of colonization and imperialism has never tasted so good with my dressing and turkey.

Also, many people just watch football and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade with food from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., so they can then get ready for Black Friday, a national holiday where materialism and burning cash is in full effect. 

If people truly wanted to celebrate the meaning of Thanksgiving, even though it is nice to gratify our wallets by buying Christmas gifts, it shouldn’t be done on the day of giving. It can wait. 

With all of the hype over Black Friday being shown on-screen this week in comparison to positive messages of Thanksgiving, it’d be a 99.9-to-0.1 ratio for how much people are looking forward to buying things for people they’re close to instead of spending more time with them. 

Words can mean a lot more than a simple discounted gift and can have longer-lasting effects than a physical object that might get lost, stolen or broken.

All that being said and done, with all of the focus being put on Christmas lights and Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You,” how about we just give thanks on a more regular basis? How about we get ready for Saint Nicholas, the story of Jesus’s birth and hot chocolate in a longer break than the one week we have for Thanksgiving? The free time will be there with no finals looming over our heads and with the 25 days of Hallmark Christmas movies to comfort our minds.