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What exactly is Thanksgiving?

I often hear the question, "what exactly is Thanksgiving?", and I sometimes don't know where to start. Should I explain the history? Should I explain the modern tradition? Should I explain what we eat and do? After many years of trying to explain this holiday, I've settled for this answer:

Thanksgiving is like a more relaxed, mini-Christmas.

What I like about Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving always was (and still is, even though I don't celebrate it in such an extravagant way anymore) my favorite holiday. Here are some of the reasons why!

  • It's in the autumn, and even though it's usually cold, the trees still have some colorful leaves on them, which makes going for a walk after eating lunch much more enticing!

  • There's no stress of having to buy presents!

  • Instead of being an obligation filled holiday like Christmas, it's more of an excuse to get together with close family and friends and eat and drink a lot.

  • The food! I LOVE pumpkin pie. I love EVERYTHING with pumpkin.

  • It's a well-deserved rest after 3 months of school or work (in the USA, November 1st isn't a holiday).

  • It marks the beginning of the holiday season (even if you don't like Christmas, a few more days off from work are always nice!)


Is there also an ugly side to Thanksgiving? Of course. But history cannot be changed, the only thing that can be changed is the future, so taking a day off to sit down with friends and family and be thankful for what we do have is a way to honor the memories of the lives lost for our modern-day freedom. So, even if you've never celebrated Thanksgiving, take some time today or tomorrow, or even this weekend, to think about all the things you do have, instead of what you don't have. Maybe that reflection will even help you save a few pennies on Black Friday😉. So, on that note, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!



  • To settle: in this context, it's a synonym for the verb, "to accept".

  • enticing: adjective - something desirable

  • well-deserved: a set phrase to say that you have earned something with your work or effort

  • a few pennies: a set phrase used to talk about a small amount of money

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