The Meaning of Thanksgiving

November 16, 2013
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Turkey, mashed potatoes, football, Charlie Brown, pilgrims, Fall colors.

The things that make Thanksgiving. Right?

Being a teenager, it's often hard to truly appreciate Thanksgiving for what it is. I have a lot of good memories of Thanksgivings past, full of family, friends, and food. So it's no surprise that Thanksgiving means a lot to me. But like many other Americans, I forget about the true meaning of Thanksgiving. Despite not being as money-oriented as modern-day Christmas, Thanksgiving is in danger of becoming a holiday centered more on the self, rather than on giving.

And wouldn't that be sad? Sure, we DO need to give thanks on Thanksgiving, but one way we could do this is by giving to others. Instead of stuffing our already-filled stomachs with more pumpkin pie, why not take a piece or two to someone else?

Why not, instead of complaining about how the weather is bad, or how you can't POSSIBLY get anything done by Christmas, go to a retirement home and hand out gifts?

Could it be that Americans are losing the true meaning of the Holidays? Because if we are, we aren't just losing out on more opportunities to reach out to people, we are losing out on a tradition centuries old.

Our world today is filled with technology. People spend more time on Thanksgiving watching Football, playing video games, and checking their Instagrams then spending precious time with family and people who need comfort. Have you ever stopped to consider that, while you have everything you need, there may be someone out there that finds it hard to be thankful because they only know struggle? Or maybe they're just as privileged as you, but have you ever thought of lending a helping hand anyway?

Thanksgiving is a time of giving thanks (obviously.)As the next generation, we need to stand out and work to make this World a better place.

Turkey, mashed potatoes, football, Charlie Brown, pilgrims, Fall colors. These are all good things in proportion, and we all SHOULD be able to enjoy these things.

But we need to center our focus on the real things that make up Thanksgiving.

Love and generosity.

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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

lilnikohl said...
Feb. 2, 2016 at 3:40 pm
Love this! Nice work :)
boundlesswildflower said...
Nov. 28, 2013 at 4:33 pm
I really love this piece!!! Ironic I'm reading it today :). I completely agree with you! Thanksgiving and Chrismas have lost its true meaning and have become "other" holidays. We should really be thankful AND actually help one another. Thanks again for your great, deep piece!!   Happy Thanksgiving!!
ElsaMThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 28, 2013 at 8:13 pm
Thank you. :D :D :D I'm glad you appreciate my post. Happy Thanksgiving to you too!!! <3
boundlesswildflower said...
Nov. 28, 2013 at 4:25 pm
It's funny I'm reading this today :). Wow I loved the deep meaning of what thanksgiving really means. I completely agree with you that its often become some holiday, thats really lost its meaning. Thank you for sharing this thought with me and it means a lot to know that someone feels the same way about how thanksgiving should really become -- a day to be thankful AND help others. :)   Happy Thanksgiving!  
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