I love Thanksgiving. The food is delicious, it’s good to spend time with loved ones, and expressing gratitude is a great thing to do. However, what is the holiday’s true purpose? Many seem to think its purpose is to a day for “giving thanks”. However, I find it interesting that the day’s activities seem to accomplish the opposite of this. We spend the day gluttonously gorging on massive feasts in preparation to spend the next day purchasing things that we don’t already have. Such activities feed our insatiable lust for pleasure and keep us in a state of wanting more. I would argue that a true day of giving thanks would omit the day’s hedonism and instead focus on giving back or focusing on what we do have. For this reason, I believe we should not continue to lie to ourselves by saying, “being thankful” is the holiday’s purpose. Rather, if we want to continue our current Thanksgiving traditions, we should describe the day as a ‘harvest festival’ celebrating the fruits of the year’s labor. Otherwise, establishing an association between gluttony and gratitude in the minds of our children is an irresponsible recipe for a future of unhappiness.

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