I have a lot of respect for President Abraham Lincoln. Not because he helped win the Civil War and abolished slavery (all though that is a huge accomplishment), but because he also made Thanksgiving a national holiday. Out of all the holidays, I like how Thanksgiving is so simple, yet genuine. Below are seven reasons I believe Thanksgiving tops the rest.

 

1. The Food

Food, specifically turkey, has become synonymous with Thanksgiving. Rather than eating out, this holiday focuses on eating a home-cooked meal. My parents make great traditional recipes, including mashed potatoes with brown gravy, green bean casserole (my favorite!) and all varieties of pies. A holiday centered on delicious food. What more could you ask for?

2. The Leftovers

The best part about Thanksgiving food are the leftovers. With expectations to meet and hungry mouths to satisfy, there is always an overabundance of food ready to be consumed. Sadly, my stomach cannot handle so much food in one sitting without exploding. Rather, my family saves what is leftover so we can re-experience the deliciousness that is Thanksgiving.

3. The Gratitude

Thanksgiving teaches an important lesson — gratitude. For me, it’s not just about being thankful for all I have, but also being mindful of the fact that there are many others less fortunate than I am. I have volunteered for H-E-B’s Feast of Sharing, and there is no other feeling that beats serving food to other families.

4. The Bonding

I also love the atmosphere surrounding Thanksgiving. While there are no presents to exchange, there remains the priceless time spent together. At my elementary school, students would sit and eat with their relatives in the cafeteria to celebrate the holiday together. With my family, I feel grateful for all the blessings in life and all the memories that connect us.

5. The Break

Thanksgiving break is not too long (when you forget you ever attended school) nor too short (when the “break” feels like a rip-off). For me, I always get at least two school days off, not even including the weekend! This makes for a relaxing break, where you have just the right amount of time to hang out with family and friends and catch up on your sleep and favorite television shows.

6. The Countdown

After Thanksgiving, I feel as if I am ready to begin the countdown to the end of the year. Thanksgiving is basically preparing me for the Christmas holiday, with only a few weeks of school in between both holidays. This makes coming back to school after Thanksgiving slightly less miserable, knowing that the year is almost coming to a close.