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Two Views: Thanksgiving should not be a once a year event

Thanksgiving is the holiday best associated with family, good food and gratitude. This holiday is often associated with fond family memories and traditions.

However, for some people, Thanksgiving is not all fond memories. For instance, some families mourn the loss or absence of a loved one. Celebrating Thanksgiving often serves as a reminder of such an absence.

One reason for loss is death. Death in itself is a tough thing to go through. All holidays under such a circumstance can be an obstacle for the families, and Thanksgiving is no exception. Family traditions come in bundles at this time of year, whether watching Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade or eating dinner at a beloved family member’s house. Losing a person who once took part in the traditions can make continuing the traditions hard for the family. Ultimately, it can come to taint the essence of Thanksgiving.

Another reason a family member could be absent is due to a troublesome lifestyle. Addiction and incarceration are hard for both the absentee and his or her family. Family members have to wake up every day and hope that their loved one has made a step to getting their lives back in line. Every family holiday that passes serves as a reminder that wishful hoping does not end.

On a different aspect, most people can find common ground in loving the Thanksgiving food. However, some people are not partial to the type of food served. Some people simply do not favor the traditional ham, turkey and dressing combination. Others worry about the after-effects.

Many of the people who do like the food worry about the extra holiday weight. People who struggle with eating disorders have anxiety leading up to Thanksgiving dinner. Often, people have multiple dinners to attend with different sides of the family or a significant other’s family. The idea of gaining weight is unbearable for some people.

Conversely, some families cannot afford to provide the feast that so many other families can. This situation makes a person disappointed in themselves; thus, it also brings a sense of being ashamed. Thanksgiving is a time of love and camaraderie, and no one should feel guilty on this day.

The main concept of Thanksgiving is to be thankful for everything one might have, namely family and good food. Nevertheless, gratitude is not something that should be shown one day out of the year. Thankfulness should be practiced everyday, and no one should take anything for granted.

Overall, Thanksgiving is a perfect celebration for families blessed enough to have everything that makes this particular holiday special. There are people who struggle with Thanksgiving, because it often serves as a reminder of what is missing. Gratitude should be spread daily, without the accessory of food and fellowship.

by Jennifer Shirley

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