Thanksgiving often doesn’t get the rep it deserves. Because it’s smacked in between Halloween and Christmas, sometimes people start playing festive music and putting up lights that they forget there’s actually a holiday dedicated to “giving thanks” and spending time with friends and family that shouldn’t be taken for granted.

In fact, you probably looked forward to Thanksgiving break in undergrad more than winter break because it was a nice, well, break in between school and exams. There’s just something so different about being at home for the holidays, and we should take these 13 reasons to be thankful why we have a day like this in the first place:

1. It’s a holiday dedicated to EATING FOOD

So go ahead, grab a second (or third) plateful of all the traditional fixings. Wear a chunky sweater to hide your food baby and just tell yourself your diet starts the next day.

thanksgiving turkey

2. There’s so many leftovers

3.  Black Wednesday

You’re not in undergrad anymore, so maybe that whole scene really isn’t for you. However, you may have a shortened day of work (and you don’t have to go into the office the next day), so uncork a bottle of vino or crack open a cold one and relax. It’s the first major holiday you’ve had off since Labor Day, and you’ve definitely earned some PTO.

4. Thanksgiving-themed TV specials

If you do decide to stay in on Wednesday, be thankful for the crazy-good holiday TV specials. From Charlie Brown Thanksgiving to SNL’s Thanksgiving special, you’ve got a perfect evening in front of you. And of course, the annual Friends Thanksgiving episodes (I’m partial to the one with Brad Pitt) always make for classic television.

charlie brown thanksgiving

5. Friendsgiving

Try your hand at cooking the traditional feast with your friends. Food+wine+great company= a great way to start the season (well, before it gets awkward with your family on Thursday).


6. Spending time with family

Yes, you’ll most likely run into awkward situations with your extended family (as you do every year). Don’t worry about work, what you have to get done the next day and why Aunt Edna keeps asking when you’re going to get engaged or give her a niece or nephew. Think of it as an annual family gathering with good food and good wine. Lots of good wine.

7. Did we mention the food yet? 

8. The Macy’s Day Parade 

When are you going to see giant balloon heads (and tiny bodies) floating across NYC, along with A-and-B-list singers belting out holiday tunes for 30 seconds?

hello kitty macy's day parade

9.  Football

Be thankful to watch hot men in tights tackle each other on a field (in 30-degree weather) while you’re still in your sweatpants.

10. If football’s not your thing, there’s always the annual dog show

While Fido aims to please, some are just there for a good laugh.

11. Pumpkin Pie

As if we don’t love pumpkin enough in fall, we get to eat it in PIE form.

pumpkin pie

12. Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Holiday shopping discounts on discounts you almost don’t know where to go first. It’s almost like a sporting event.

13. There are only 27 more days until Christmas

But who’s counting?



Hannah Gettleman is a bubbly twenty-something living in Chicago. She graduated in 2012 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in Journalism. Don't tell her that print is dying--she's already made the switch to public relations. As a Midwest girl, winter happens approximately 80% of the year, so she knows a thing or two about a good pair of snow boots. She lives for summer weather (even though she can never tan), Boy Meets World reruns, and an unhealthy addiction to dark chocolate and online shopping. She's a die-hard Chicago sports fan, even though she's well aware the Cubs always end up in last place every year.

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