When I was in elementary school, Thanksgiving was taken far more seriously than it is now. For the entire week preceding the holiday, my peers and I made turkey hats, cards for our families and celebrated the Mayflower every year. As I grew older, I learned about its dark history and along with that came trouble. The holiday became the epicenter for stress and brought nothing but disagreements, gossip and judgment. For many, including myself, the hype around the day has only declined over time.
As 2021’s turkey day creeps around the corner, disputes about COVID-19 and the ever flaming-hot political climate are bound to make appearances at the dinner table. This year, depending on where you are, we’re met by more intimacy, less masking and a new topic of discussion, vaccinations. I’m not the ideal candidate to explain how to handle ignorant aunts or perverted uncles because my biggest tip is avoidance. For those who can’t escape the wrath of their entirely-phobic family, my condolences are with you this season.
With all of that on our plate, let’s not forget about the highlight of the cursed Thursday, food. While peach cobbler and turkey are specialized traditions, it could be said that they’re not as favored as they once were. In fact, as few gather in compliance with pandemic restrictions, turkey sales for large birds have declined and the need for more turkeys has lowered. To that I say, is this a surprise? I can’t recall a time that I genuinely enjoyed a plate of dry turkey. Regardless, it seems that mostly everyone but boomers have caught up to the idea of skipping the holiday and relieving ourselves from the chaos.
Aside from narrow opinions and overcooked meat, as the decades roll on, even retailers tend to forget about the holiday. Maybe there are some cheesy decorative pillows and entrance rugs as fillers, but for the most part as soon as Halloween is over, shops instantly switch gears to Christmas. Although it’s sensible considering how difficult it is to be spirited for a day rooted in genocide, not to mention there are no staple Thanksgiving movies unless the Macy’s Day Parade counts which poses the big question, who really is watching that besides our grandmothers?
Don’t think I skipped over the couples. You lovebirds probably spend this time of year meeting each other’s families and discovering first-hand what kind of childhood trauma they faced. As if that weren’t enough, prepare to sell yourself and answer inquiries about your future goals and lifelong achievements. I mean, what could possibly be better than that?
And for those partners who’ve surpassed awkward meetings and dads with shotguns, you’re not in the clear either. Research following a trend collected by Information is Beautiful in 2008 shows that relationships tend to end during the holiday season, so beware.
To sum up, Thanksgiving is like the one stubborn stain on your shirt that never goes away. You can try washing it, dyeing the whole item a different color or even dousing it in perfume to make it look less crusty, but it will always remain. If you’re feeling the pressure of the world around you during this holiday season, remember that it’ll be over before you know it and at least then you’ll have leftovers.
Sophia Sipe is a writer for The Express. Follow her @SophiaSipe