There is a war on a holiday, and it gets worse every year.
Granted, it doesn't appear to be a war on purpose. In fact, it's more like a holiday casualty.
Thanksgiving is an innocent bystander caught up in the increasing, boughs-of-holly charged clamor over Christmas. And while I love Christmas time, I feel terrible for Turkey Day.
When stacked side-by-side, however, it's clear this was coming.
Look at Thanksgiving, sitting there, belt undone to digest more food than any human should probably take in at once. Yes, it's happy and surrounded by loved ones
The hard work is over. There are no more turkeys to fry, no more pies to bake, no more cranberries to sauce or potatoes to mash. It's a tough job, but we do it because it's about family and being grateful for what we all have and can do together for each other.
It's the perfect partner for Christmas; sort of like a first course. Thanksgiving ushered in the holiday season in a similar fashion to the biting north Oklahoma wind signaling the onset of autumn/winter (we have to put them together now since it's impossible to tell one from the other anymore).
But the world is working against Thanksgiving.
Look at Christmas. It's modernized. Technological advancements have made it an adaptable holiday, and it survives.
The need for a town-wide search for the perfect gift is gone. In the magical world of Internet, any gift from, literally, anywhere can be ordered in, free of any need to suffer through the bustling crowds.
Plastic trees make decorating easier. There's no requirement that families head out to the nearest Christmas tree farm and find a healthy, appropriately-sized spruce to haul up in the living room.
Now, it's more ecological (and less of a fire hazard) to reuse. On top of that, time saved is money saved.
Speaking of, we can also forget about the Christmas-card business. Now, you just send your greetings online. Sure everyone is already up to speed thanks to your incessant, sometimes whiney, Facebook posts, but it's easier than ever to remind us all, again.
And now Christmas applies to more than the religious. There are a plethora of reasons for people of any background to get into the holiday spirit, and that's for better or for worse depending on your personal viewpoint.
All of these things have brought Christmas into the 21st Century, whereas Thanksgiving is limited in its adaptability.
There's no instant turkey that is also, in my opinion, edible. I mean, sure, you could order it from a local restaurant or ready made from the market in advance.
But that's where it ends. You can't send food through the Internet, so we still make the trip to be with extended family and friends. And if you're going to go through all of that trouble, why not just go ahead and make a dish?
Then there's the football. Sure, the TV screens are bigger now, but it's the same game. And grandpa still falls asleep. Every. Time.
There's also not a whole lot to change about the Thanksgiving message. I believe this makes it timeless, but concede that also makes it, naturally, less exciting in today's world.
Don't get me wrong, I still love Christmas. And I also love most of the new ways we have to celebrate and conduct it.
But for me, Thanksgiving is a valuable part of the holiday season because of its age. It forces us to go back, to remember that life didn't used to be all about the bells and whistles.
It's difficult to put on, yet in the grand scheme, simple. You come together, you eat, you give thanks, and in the process you realize how valuable everything is in your life.
If this trend continues and we flock to Christmas like a bunch of Black Friday shoppers going all "death race" to the next special, we'll lose this important precursor to a season that, while about giving, also appeals to our give-me side.
No one should ever answer the question "What do you want for Christmas?" before enjoying their Thanksgiving meal. That time is needed to appreciate what you have.
Only then can a truly perfect gift be received when the time is right.