Giving Thanks for Thanksgiving

Each year Thanksgiving comes and passes like any other holiday. I might argue that it is the purest holiday. It lacks the commercialism of Christmas, the novelty of Halloween, the complete BS that is Valentine’s Day, and you can don whatever color you choose. I can think of no better reason to have a holiday than to give thanks for everything in our lives and spend some quality time with extended family members, rarely seen. Okay, that’s enough sappy stuff.

We all know the two real reasons people LOVE Thanksgiving. Food and the movie, “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.” I personally have such a high passion for both that I am torn trying to decide which I like better.

First, the FOOD. We all know the smells; the enticing aromas that begin to emanate from your mother’s kitchen a day or two before Thanksgiving, the epitome of all that is delicious. Next, comes the sampling. I for one am convinced that my mother has been systematically trying to poison my entire family, so I have put my life on the line for years by testing everything she makes in preparation for the big day. Clearly, it is a slow acting poison.

As the day approaches, wardrobe becomes a major concern. Everyone simply understands that massive quantities of food will be consumed. It doesn’t matter if you are dieting, training for the Olympics, or are UPB President Annie Blewett. As I begin my search, I half-mindedly consider wearing sweat pants, which would be highly effective, yet inappropriate. Eventually, I give up and accept that I will most likely look like Jared before he heard about Subway and it doesn’t matter what I wear because every button will pop and every zipper will be broken anyway.

The day arrives. Everyone knows the feeling of helping their mother with last minute food preparations. Poor mothers, they are usually stressed to the point of a nervous breakdown. I honestly could be more helpful attempting to burn my house down than actually helping my mother cook. It ok though, I’d rather watch the parade anyway.

Finally, family is in place, prayers have been said, the old people who never want to eat first have been forced to go, and it is time to eat. I personally enter a fairy tale land where spontaneous singing and dancing is allowed and fill my plate to paper plate capacity. At this point I am lost to conversation. I am completely focused on my food, eating as if Kanye West might pop out at any moment and interrupt me. I am in my happy place.

Reason number two for loving Turkey Day, “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” is just an awesome movie. Need I even elaborate?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

– Steven Butler

Halloween v. Thanksgiving

It’s a debate that I’ve had with countless people: Which of the fall holidays is superior: Halloween or Thanksgiving?

Let’s look at the different aspects of these two annual traditions.

picture from iwatchstuff.com1)  They both have equally bad Charlie Brown movies. If I am alone in thinking that “The Great Pumpkin” storyline is enormously agitating then I’ve lost all faith in humanity. All-in-all this really isn’t a differentiator of either holiday; however, film in general is a huge factor seperating these days. There are literally thousands of films dedicated the the eerie culture of late October, ranging from light-hearted films like Hocus Pocus and Casper to spine-chilling horrors like my favorite Nightmare on Elm Street. In contrast, I’m really struggling to come up with anything for Thanksgiving……

2) Neither of these holidays would be worthwhile if it weren’t for the food. While Thanksgiving focuses on grand meals that require hours of strenuous labor in the kitchen, Halloween’s cuisine can be prepared with a few dollars and a ten minute trip to Walmart. I’m not claiming that the feast in November is not incredible, but for what it’s worth some candies are really high up on my list of favorite things (Who honestly refuses a Reese’s?).

3) Which would you rather decorate your house with come autumn: A couple turkeys and pilgrims, or jack-0-lanterns, spiderwebs, witches, ghosts, vampires, mummies, and an endless list of Halloween staples?

4) There is the parade on Thanksgiving that starts getting everyone in the mood for Winter Break, but I believe that the costumes and trick-or-treating of Halloween still trumps this aspect of Thanksgiving. I mean there’s only so many times that you can still be amused by a giant inflatable Garfield. I am constantly amazed every single October how creative some people can be with their sometimes funny, provocative, or really original costumes.

picture from

This was my costume for about 3 years

5) Tradition is a big factor for these holidays. Thanksgiving usually comes with football……but so do the other few months surrounding that random Thursday every year. You do get to see your family again for possibly the first time in a while – which can be great. On the other hand you might be reminded why you only choose to see them every once-in-a-while. As far as Halloween goes, who doesn’t look back fondly to running around in a Power Ranger costume all hyped-up on sugar as a kid?

There are avid fans arguing for both sides of the question, and I hope that my in-depth analysis will be enough to open some of your eyes to the supremecy of the winner of the fall holidays: Halloween. UPB is choosing to celebrate this holiday today on the commons from 10 Am to 2 PM (although mother nature may frown on us, in which case it will be held in Transitions). I personally helped carry 200 pumpkins ready to decorate into our storage room, so I hope to see you all out there today.

picture from

– Stephen