November 22, 2017
By: Natalie Dignam

Photo by vxla from Flickr

Ever since a woman at the laundromat tried to convince me that Americans celebrate Thanksgiving more than Christmas, I’ve had some things to say about this holiday that Americans love (but not more than Christmas, I don’t care what the CBC says). Here’s a list of American Thanksgiving facts to help you celebrate by overeating, watching football, napping, and then eating more in true American fashion.

  1. We love Thanksgiving!
    According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, long distance travel increases by 54% during the 6-day Thanksgiving travel period. That’s compared to a 23% increase around Christmas and New Year’s. Here’s my theory: most people celebrate Thanksgiving as a holiday that’s about family and will make some long trips to be with extended family. Some people just don’t go as far for Christmas, but we still love Christmas. That’s why we start playing Christmas music everywhere at the start of November.
  2. Will Trump pardon a turkey this year?
    Every year, the U.S. president performs a very sacred ceremony (okay, not sacred) where he (or she… eventually) pardons a turkey. Apparently the origin of this practice is hotly debated. The White House says that Trump will pardon the Turkey this year, but he may go off-script. I will be tuning in for the thrilling live event.
  3. The First Thanksgiving
    According to Scholastic Kids, a trusted scholarly source, the first Thanksgiving was held in 1621 between the Wampanoag and the Pilgrims to celebrate the a successful harvest. My 5th grade teacher favored a less romantic depiction of Thanksgiving with a lot more information about disease and conflict. Alas, some kids continued to identify Thanksgiving with those hand-print turkeys despite the history lesson.
  4. Football
    You’re either watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC or you’re watching football. All day. Because your uncle turned it on and then fell asleep on the couch so you can’t change the channel. Here’s the game lineup, but to celebrate a truly authentic American Thanksgiving, simply turn on a channel playing the NFL and let it play for hours.
  5. Food
    The most important part of American Thanksgiving! Millennials have also invented this thing called “Friendsgiving” where we cook food for each other that just isn’t as good as the stuff our relatives make. Turkey and mashed potatoes are a must. Apparently in Maryland, sauerkraut on Thanksgiving is a thing. Since I only ate dinner rolls and pie at Thanksgiving until I was 13, I definitely missed out on the stuffing, gravy, and cranberry sauce goodness. I still think turkey is dry. Sorry America.

You are now equipped to celebrate American Thanksgiving! And afterwards, you are then justified in putting up Christmas lights and people aren’t allowed to complain. If you really want some holiday spirit, sleep in a Best Buy parking lot that night so you can wake at dawn for the time honored tradition of Black Friday. I will be cozy on my couch internet shopping.