Opinion Graphic 2

As I grew older and politics got more divided, I often held Thanksgiving in contempt, judging it to simply be a commercialized glorification of American gluttony and ignorance of the true origins of Thanksgiving. However, this opinion piece is not going to be about American consumerism and ignorance. I’ve changed my mind this year about Thanksgiving — it’s the holiday we all need right now after our ongoing experience with COVID-19.

I’m tired of being negative, and I want to embrace being thankful this year.

“Oh great, a surface level opinion article that ignores the collective hardships we’ve faced this year,” you think as you begin to stop reading this article. Wait! I haven’t finished just yet. Keep reading.

We are all tired. The semester and past two years have been long and difficult. I’m not here to refute this but rather to say that despite this, we are all still standing and doing the best we can. Our institution's community should all be proud of getting through this in-person semester, even though it wasn’t easy.

I’m extremely grateful for so many little things this year at BGSU. I love the wonderful sunsets and sunrises, walking through old campus, sitting at my favorite bench outside Williams Hall, the joy I feel when I talk to friends before class and eating at Einstein Bagels on a weekly basis.

What I love about Thanksgiving is that in the 21st century it doesn’t have to be very traditional at all, especially if that means avoiding that gross marshmallow sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole and pumpkin pie. One of the best Thanksgivings I’ve had was one where we made Lebanese food. This year for my second Thanksgiving of the week, my family and I will have Cuban food.

Thanksgiving can be for everyone, regardless of religious affiliation. Friendsgiving is the time of year where I can look around and celebrate with my Muslim, Christian and atheist friends all around the picnic table.

Thanksgiving is about reminding your friends, found family and biological family that you love them and are glad to spend time with them. After everything we have been through the past two years, I’m reminded repeatedly about how important good, genuine and reciprocal relationships are. We need these types of relationships to grow.

I’m grateful to all those who made my year a little brighter. This year now more than ever and with the reminder that life is short, I encourage you to say “I love you and appreciate you” to your loved ones. I also encourage you to have some dessert because I think we all deserve and need some dessert right now.

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