Thanksgiving vs. Christmas

Thanksgiving defeats Christmas for best holidaythanksgiving-1

Thanksgiving is the start to the holiday season-and it starts off the season right. Thanksgiving is the holiday that brings families together and reminds everyone to be thankful for the lives that they live and everything that they have. All aspects of Thanksgiving are better than the ones of Christmas, making Thanksgiving the alpha holiday.

Thanksgiving, on the other hand, was started as a sort of peace offering between the Native Americans and Pilgrims. The first Thanksgiving consisted of ending a war or disagreement and both sides sharing a feast with one another which occurred in 1621, yet Thanksgiving wasn’t declared a national holiday until 1863 by Abraham Lincoln. Although the food served on Thanksgiving has evolved since the first Thanksgiving it has not been nearly as exploited by the media as Christmas has.

Some would also argue that the holiday of Christmas is better because it is simply celebrated for almost an entire month, whereas Thanksgiving is usually only celebrated for only  a day–sometimes even just a meal.

Though Christmas offers more traditions for communities as a whole to celebrate, but Thanksgiving is usually more personal to  families celebrating what they are thankful for together. Thanksgiving isn’t as chaotic in the community as Christmas allowing it to be celebrated more by only families and close friends.  

When people think of Christmas they think of Santa Claus, presents, lights, and overplayed cheesy Christmas music. When people of Thanksgiving they usually think of the traditional feast and their families. The media has morphed Christmas into something bigger than simply spending time with family to celebrate the greater things in life. Thanksgiving has continued to keep its integrity of being a family holiday to celebrate what everyone is thankful for even though society has started to associated Black Friday and  animated turkeys with the holiday.

Christmas is a holiday the consists of much more preparation than Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving does normally include a large feast, which would require lots of shopping and cooking. Even though Christmas also usually includes lots of cooking, baking and shopping as well, it also has lots of gift wrapping and schedule organizing people are able to meet up with family and friends. Christmas also has a lot of other community events people have to prepare and participate in. Not to mention that it basically takes the whole month of December to decorate and prepare for Christmas, where as Thanksgiving usually doesn’t take more than a week, making Thanksgiving the least stressful holiday of the two.

Thanksgiving is clearly the better of the two holidays. Thanksgiving is about the people that are around, that football games that are being played, the food that is being eaten and the things that everyone is thankful for. The day of Thanksgiving is also celebrated on a Thursday making organizing for the day more traditional.  Thanksgiving is also a holiday that is more commonly celebrated more by families and close and not overblown and over celebrated by the community like Christmas.

Click here to learn more about the history of Thanksgiving.

By Courtney Pedersen

Christmas: Everyone’s favorite holiday

Christmas has become a staple holiday all around the world. It has been celebrated in 160 for many centuries and is one of the most well known holidays in history. Christmas is traditionally perceived as the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, but now it celebrates the arrival of Santa Claus bringing presents to children.


When people think of Christmas, words that may pop into their head include Santa, candy canes, merry or presents. On the other hand, when thinking of Thanksgiving, words that come to mind are “turkey”, “pilgrims” and “stuffing” which sound much more mundane to someone than things associated with christmas.


Christmas is immensely superior to Thanksgiving, as Christmas has a number of better qualities that Thanksgiving could never fully attain. Christmas is more of a traditional, family holiday while Thanksgiving is a holiday most just breeze by without noticing.


The idea of Christmas has been around way longer than Thanksgiving, and the holiday is celebrated in more locations and observed by more cultures around the world.


In Scandinavia, the people would participate in a holiday called Yule, which lasted from December 21 through January. They celebrated in recognition of the sun’s return and would set a massive fire which would start the celebration, and would celebrate until the fire burned out, which could take around 12 days at most.


In Germany, people would honor Oden, the pagan god of Norse mythology during the mid-winter holiday. The Romans celebrated a holiday called Saturnalia, which celebrated the god Saturn. They would feast the week before the winter solstice and continue on for a month. In that month everyone was allowed to join in on the festivities, and the festivities even caused schools and businesses to close.


In fact, it was not until the fourth century that it was decided that Christmas would commemorate the birth of Jesus. Thanksgiving, however, was first celebrated in the 17th century by the pilgrims. Thanksgiving has been around a fraction of the time as Christmas and is still only recognized by a few countries.


Christmas has made a bigger mark in the media than Thanksgiving. The holiday inspired many books like A Christmas Carol, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Night before Christmas and the Polar Express, just to name a few. There are also a lot of Christmas movies such as “A Christmas Story,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Miracle on 34th Street” and “Home Alone.”


Christmas has even acquired its own genre of music, with songs such as “Baby It’s Cold Outside”, “Jingle Bells” and “Santa Claus is Comin To Town.”  Christmas is also a giant in advertising, as people start getting ready for Christmas before Thanksgiving. Christmas also has its share of popular icons that are easily recognizable such as Santa Claus, Frosty The Snowman, and Rudolph, who also have gotten their own movies and merchandise.


Thanksgiving is more of a minority holiday compared to Christmas. Sure, in America many people celebrate Thanksgiving, but other countries don’t even know what Thanksgiving is. Thanksgiving, some might say, doesn’t really celebrate anything. Thanksgiving was celebrated by the pilgrims as thanks for a good harvest. Now it’s a holiday that is about giving thanks to what you are glad you have in life (although people can technically do this during any holiday).


Although Christmas is obviously the superior holiday based off it’s popularity and history in time, Thanksgiving isn’t a bad holiday. On thanksgiving it is still nice to get together and eat a roasted bird (sometimes even a bird inside a bird) while observing Thanksgiving traditions.


By Samuel Tilbury


Courtney Pedersen

Courtney Pedersen

My name is Courtney Pedersen and I'm a senior. For the Reflection I primarily write news and feature stories. I am the news and media editor. I also am heavily involved in TAB, PAC, Spanish Club and the literary magazine.

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