Celebrate the meaning of the holiday

Story by Sarah Baker, Editor

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Many images come to mind when you hear the word Thanksgiving. Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians celebrating a harvest together. A picturesque family gathered at a table filled with turkey, pumpkin pie and green bean casserole. Even Black Friday sales.

While these images are all commonly associated with the holiday, the meaning behind Thanksgiving widely differs from person to person.

Some people view Thanksgiving as an over-commercialized and pointless holiday, while others see it as a valuable day to spend with family and to give thanks for what they have.

The meaning of the holiday may vary, but one thing that is clear about it is in the name: the act of giving thanks.

On Thanksgiving day, I think it is only right to be grateful and to give back.

Some people pray and say what they are thankful for before eating the Thanksgiving meal and others actually go to soup kitchens or homeless shelters and feed the hungry.

Some people, on the other hand, just celebrate the holiday because it is a holiday.

I think that Thanksgiving, like many other holidays, has lost some of its original meaning. With today’s highly commercialized world, there is money to be made everywhere. For instance, Christmas commercials begin the day after Halloween, and Black Friday sales will always be linked to Thanksgiving.

The commercialization of holidays is so extreme that I believe people have lost touch with the actual meanings behind those holidays.

Instead of celebrating a holiday for a special reason, people might just choose to participate in the holiday just because it is marked on their calendars.

Out of all the families celebrating Thanksgiving this month, how many of them are gathering to value family and to give thanks, and how many are just meeting as a family just because it is a cultural norm to do so on this day?

Think of the soon-approaching Christmas season. How many people will celebrate Christmas, the day of Santa Claus and presents, and how many people celebrate Christmas, the day honoring the birth of Jesus Christ?

It would be nice to see more people acknowledge the intended meaning of the holiday they are celebrating.