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Thanksgiving deserves more recognition abroad

By Miles Bett, Columnist

What do Coke, Pepsi, McDonald's, Burger King, Taco Bell, Dunkin' Donuts and Hershey's Chocolate all have in common? Besides leading the vanguard of a goal for universal obesity, they are all world-famous companies which come from America. There is, however, another American invention that hasn't been embraced with open arms around the world. It's Thanksgiving. There are few things that deserve better foreign reception, and Thanksgiving is one of them.

Having spent the past week travelling on fall break I have been able to reflect on the real comforts in life. I'm fully aware of what most of you must be thinking: ‘Poor Miles, getting to travel and see interesting places. Woe is he.' Usually I would accept such mocking sympathy in stride but honestly, it was exhausting.

With this traveling came what felt like endless hours at airports. Such hours gave me a chance to reflect upon and be thankful for those things I was and will be missing. England doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving and to me that is shameful. Though I will be having a faux Thanksgiving it won't be nearly good enough. As you sit in front of a glistening golden turkey, roast and mashed potatoes, peas, carrots, gravy, cranberry sauce, bacon, pies and ice cream, I will be at a restaurant eating food, all the while wishing for some home-cooked wonder that took hours to cook, days to eat, weeks to clean up and a solid month to digest. It isn't just the food that I will sorely miss; it is the company and the experience.

My family reliably gathers on only two occasions a year, Christmas and Thanksgiving. It isn't for any lack of affection; we are far flung. So for me, Thanksgiving is a chance to sit down at a table and buckle under the weight of this gluttonous holiday and have outrageously inappropriate conversations.

It isn't just these conversations that have become a tradition. One is the yearly hanging of Christmas lights from the trees in front of my house. This usually means me clambering up trees with lights strung about and me flinging them as I want, occasionally listening to the barked instructions of my slightly inebriated brothers below. Even though it's dangerous and I've fallen out several times, it's a tradition that has been repeated over the years and one I will sorely miss the chance to take part in.

While there may be grumbling about not having Wednesday off, remember to enjoy the simple fact that nowhere else has such a splendid holiday; a holiday based solely around eating, drinking and being thankful for all of those things that life has blessed us with. Even if you can't be with your family but instead with VP Sandy Johnson of Student Affairs, which is a nice gesture, you still have this day to be thankful for everything you have. So remember to pause and say a small thank-you to all those things you have and marvel at how small the list of things you are left wanting really is.


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