Hot Take Hotter Take is a weekly column with takes hotter than the grease fire you’ll start if you try and deep fry your turkey before it’s fully thawed.
What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? Family? Friends? Life itself? Me too. Mostly I’m thankful my editor hasn’t fired me yet, but there’s still time. I’m also thankful for Thanksgiving itself, the only holiday strong enough to goad me into self-reflection with the promise of food and football. I’ve heard chatter from people lately claiming Thanksgiving is an “underrated” holiday. They are wrong. Thanksgiving is THE underrated holiday, and all others are it’s lessers.
Hot take- Thanksgiving is the best holiday
Thanksgiving gets just about everything right as far as holidays go: food, relaxation, camaraderie, etc. More importantly, it provides everything you want in a very defined structure: wake up, watch the parade, eat some biscuits or something but not too much, cook a side dish because you’re not going to overextend yourself making the turkey—someone else will do it—watch football or maybe the dog show, eat a wonderful dinner with your closest friends/family, fall asleep. Other holidays pale in comparison. I’ll hear the arguments for Halloween and Christmas, but I reject alternative answers beyond that. Christmas gifts are nice but the leadup to Christmas is an entire month of stress, frantic shopping and the constant replaying of that one Christmas song you hate in the back of your mind. Halloween often devolves into an excuse to just have a regular party but with costumes, even though its aesthetic is top-notch. Thanksgiving, in comparison, is both simple and pure and centered around the best possible thing to center a celebration around: good food.
HOTTER Take: Why not make Thanksgiving even better!?
The only gripe I have against Thanksgiving lies in its untapped potential. To my mind, no other holiday has the growth potential Thanksgiving has. It’s the classic “high floor, high ceiling” prospect. Let’s crank it up a notch, starting with increasing the intensity of the holiday. Give me a second Macy’s Day Parade at night but with cool light shows and less family-friendly musical guests. Imagine a neon-lit Snoopy balloon flying through the streets of New York with Lil’ Baby playing on a turkey float with pyrotechnics. Or really, just any additional event or tradition to add an extra dimension of excitement to the occasionally too mellow holiday of champions.
(P.S: Thanksgiving is actually the worst holiday when the historic injustices towards our nation’s indigenous peoples are considered. While the food and family aspect is great, the celebration of colonialism and the colonizer pilgrims is not and should be acknowledged and reflected upon somberly whenever Thanksgiving is discussed.)
Vincent Rendon can be reached at vrendon@Sagebrush.unr.edu or on Twitter @VinceSagrebrush.