Senior ANDY Editor
In my hierarchy of holidays, Thanksgiving finds itself in the lower echelon. It’s not that I don’t look forward to seeing family, don’t embrace the break from school or don’t crave the sumptuous spread my Grandma produces year after year (hello turkey coma), it’s just that unfailingly, Thanksgiving al- ways seems to be lacking a certain something that until this past week- end, I was unable to put my finger on.
Now, finally, I realize what I’ve been missing all these years: the entertainment and media culture
intrinsic to every other holiday. Where are the songs about Thanksgiving to get one in the spirit? Where are the classic films about the holiday to curl up with and watch? What traditional Thanksgiving storybooks are there to read as the long weekend ap- proaches? The answer, of course, is that none of these really exist. A quick Google search of Thanksgiving movies revealed an erratic mix of contempo- rary comedies that were plotted around Thanksgiving – not about it. Planes, Trains and Automobiles was a recurring film on many lists, and although it is a classic, it’s not something I can imagine watching every year when Thanksgiving rolls around.
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiv- ing was the only quintessential film I could find. Doubtlessly, it is themonolithic entertainment culture associated with holidays like Christ- mas that have influenced my expec- tations of Thanksgiving. Christmas has it all – the movies, the music, the books.
I can’t imagine a Christ- mas without watching Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Miracle on 34th Street or Frosty the Snowman. Read- ing A Christmas Carol and ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas are prerequi- sites to the winter holidays. Carol- ing ‘Jingle Bells’ and the like are done without question. Needless to say, Thanksgiving music is non-existent.
Whether the entertain- ment component is required for the legitimacy of a holiday, how-ever, is questionable territory.
Perhaps Thanksgiving is the pure, no-frills, non-commercial sister of Christmas that I should ap- preciate more for its lack of enter-tainment-obsessed consumerism. Maybe that’s the beauty of Thanksgiving – the chance to sim- ply reflect on being thankful with- out the shroud of media and ma- terialism ingrained in Christmas,
Halloween and Valentine’s Day. Despite viewing Thanks- giving with such idealism, I can’t help but still feel a void every Oc- tober, and maybe that’s okay. Mu- sic, film and literature are part of our culture and cannot be ignored. They are the means through which we communicate and thus are cen- tral components of the way we ex- perience the good, the bad and, in particular, the holidays.
Come Thanksgiving, it wouldn’t hurt to have a song to sing.