We know our own kind. We have an unspoken connection that we all feel. We share a knowing nod when we pass on the street. We know what we’ve been through. We know the feeling. We know what it is to be…. the Middle Child.
The Middle Child.
Not the oldest… the pride and joy.
Not the baby… the golden child.
We’re in the middle.
The over-looked and under-appreciated.
(Editor’s Note: At this point, Clay wept silently in the fetal position for 86 minutes before returning to the keyboard)
Ok…. wheeew… alright I’m better now.
So being the Middle Child isn’t THAT bad, but it does have that stigma. Because of that, I tend to stand up when I see Middle Child status being assigned in this world. When the Middle Child isn’t getting his or her due.
That’s what I’m here to rally against today.
My simple hypotheses: Thanksgiving has become the Middle Child of holidays.
I may be alone on an island, but Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love just about everything about it (hold the cranberry sauce). Yet, I feel like my passion for “Turkey Day” in the exception and not the rule in today’s society.
Sandwiched between seemingly the two most popular holidays – Halloween and Christmas – Thanksgiving has become a second class citizen.
Through exhaustive research conducted 100% in my own brain, I’ve come up with the Top 5 Reasons Why Thanksgiving is Middle Child of Holidays.
I know, I know… Top 5 lists on the internet have become a lazy device to drive traffic. Shame on you, Clay, shame on you.
Hmmmmm… bet you wouldn’t say that if I wasn’t the Middle Child….
1) Music — While these five are in no particular order, Music may be the number one thing holding Thanksgiving back. Where are the great Thanksgiving songs? Sure Adam Sandler has a classic. Heck, there’s even a Rebecca Black knock-off trying to make YouTube immortality with one this year (NOTE: Click link at your own risk… you can’t “unhear” it). Thanksgiving lacks an anthem. There are no turkey tunes to get you in the spirit. In fact, Christmas music has become the soundtrack for Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, even Halloween has a fairly stocked catalog of tunes specifically written for the holiday or not.
2) No Candy — One of the major components of Thanksgiving is eating, yet, really no candy. Sure you get pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce is sweet, but, how can you compete with a pillowcase full of Fun Sized goodness in October or a tree full of candy canes in December?
3) T.V. & Movies — Halloween reopens access to every horror movie ever made. Christmas is loaded with Grinches, Peanuts and every animated character to ever put on a red hat and fuzzy ball. They make entire movie franchises about Santa. Heck, Tim Burton made a movie that combined Halloween and Christmas! Sure there have been movies that take place on and around Thanksgiving – Planes, Trains and Automobiles being my favorite – but are they really about Thanksgiving? No! More often than not, they’re about how miserable it is to be around your family on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving needs to take a serious look at their PR Guy in Hollywood.
4) Shopping — Has anyone one ever said “I have to go shopping for Thanksgiving Dinner” without a groan and sigh? The grocery store at Thanksgiving is a nightmare. And, the closer you get to Thursday, the more it feels like people are prepping for a Zombie Apocalypse and not a festive family meal. In fact, the day AFTER Thanksgiving, Black Friday, is the number one shopping day of the year leading an increasing number of people thinking, if not saying, “I can’t wait to get through Thanksgiving so I can start my Christmas shopping.” Retailers are even opening on Thanksgiving evening to start the next holiday.
5) Dress Code — Halloween provides the loosest dress code of the year. Ever want to dress like a mental patient at work? Boom. Halloween. Want to go to your kid’s school dressed like a banana? Thank you, Halloween. Trashy Betsy Ross with a Stars & Stripes Bustier? God Bless America… AND Halloween. Not to be outdone, the best parts of Christmas are spent in your pajamas!!! Oh… not Thanksgiving. Sweater. Slacks. Shave. Brush your hair. Don’t let Grandma see your neck tattoo. It’s brutal. Most of us don’t even clean up this much for work.
While my “scientific research” has deemed these the Top 5, sadly, this isn’t even a complete list. I didn’t even mention the annual “Are you going to watch football ALL day?” conversation.
I’m not Anti-Halloween and I certainly love everything about Christmas. However, between finishing off that last roll of Smarties and packing your camping gear for that Black Friday sidewalk sleepover, remember the Middle Child.
He…. I mean IT… Thanksgiving… yeah… Thanksgiving has feelings too.