Thanksgiving, A Universal Holiday

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Thanksgiving is not just a holiday in the U.S. A holiday like the U.S. version of a day of thanks occurs in most cultures. That special day goes by many names and forms but it is still the day we savor and there is science to back up why.

In a survey conducted earlier this year, people in the U.S. were asked to identify their favorite holiday. Thanksgiving was named way more than any other holiday.

The main reason why people like Thanksgiving is because it really IS a holiday. It is a break. It is a day for family, friends and feast. That’s all. There is not as much pressure as other holidays and it is the one holiday with a crisp beginning and end. Other holidays tend to be filled with anxiety and stress to do something special, or provide gifts.

Other holidays can also drag on forever with an ambiguous beginning and a nebulous ending. Holidays like New Year’s Eve are so fraught with high expectations that the expectations are rarely met. While there are those in service or the safety industries that must work on Thanksgiving, and we appreciate those that do, most are able to take the day off to relax and spend time with their families. Even the craziest workaholic high tech workers will take Thanksgiving off.

There is no competition with coworkers when it comes to Thanksgiving. No one wants to compete on the size of a turkey or how many guests you entertained. No one wants to receive emails from you over the holiday or hear how much you worked.

It is a time for family, friends and feasting no matter the culture or country in which you live. The day may not be this week but be sure to celebrate a day of thanks once a year.

And when it comes to careers, Thanksgiving is a nice time to take stock and appreciate that you have a job you like. Or, maybe to think about changing jobs. But while you’re at it — be with your family and relax.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock/Mary Jo

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