Thanksgiving Creates Stress, Feeds Consumerism


Turkey is dry anyways. (art by Lily Ryall)

Weeks before the dreaded Thursday, a feeling in the atmosphere shifts. As Thanksgiving approaches, it is accompanied by stress foreign to other holidays.  The need to determine location, food, and who in the family is not invited can push any parent over the edge. While other holidays are tame and manageable, Thanksgiving is a lion. And, like a lion, it violently attacks those who venture in its arena. So no, your mom isn’t suddenly going insane. It’s just the Thanksgiving season.

Any person unacquainted with Thanksgiving would think a natural disaster was imminent from the state of grocery stores. Krogers and Walmarts across the nation are mobbed as turkeys become scarce, and premade pie crusts fly off the barren shelves. Chickens can’t produce eggs fast enough to keep pace with the monster that is Thanksgiving.

This frantic over-shopping is caused by hypocritical Thanksgiving customs. If the holiday is devoted to being thankful, why do families buy more food than they could ever eat in one sitting? Americans are obviously not thankful for what they have because Thanksgiving meals have medieval king-sized proportions. The morals of the holiday were lost about the same time that Black Friday was invented.

Black Friday is the epitome of American consumerism. The day after families claim to be content with the possessions they already have, they wildly ravage shopping malls for deals on the latest Samsung TV. Thanksgiving is the moral high point before the moral low point of Black Friday. It is a paradoxical pairing to have these holidays so close to each other; it demonstrates the phrase “only in America.”

In addition, the comically terrible Macy’s parade on Thanksgiving day showcases only the most boring and repetitive floats of any parade. The Macy’s parade should be forever evolving and surprising like Carnival in Brazil or Mardis Gras in New Orleans. Instead, the Macy’s parade stopped evolving around the time your parents were born. It’s the same lineup of cartoon characters, charities, and sports team floats every year. Somehow Americans get sucked in every year, with no hope of leaving their couch until they see St. Nick on the closing float.

Thanksgiving is a holiday that only brings stress, empty grocery stores, Black Friday, and the Macy’s parade. None of this adds up to a particularly fun holiday, and yet Thanksgiving is loved because it celebrates uniquely American traditions: consumerism, overeating, and bad parades.