Giving Thanks to Giving Breaks

Thanksgiving Break has always been a week long, but it is time to change that.

November 8, 2019


Photo Courtesy of the Creative Commons

Traditional Thanksgiving dishes include turkey, mashed potatoes and salad, among others.

I believe I speak the truth when I say that almost every high school student holds no opposition against lengthier breaks. A chance for a longer time to rest is an opportunity for a greater ease of mind. After all, it is no secret that school causes stress.


But why has Thanksgiving break in particular been restricted to a mere nine days? This has been a question many students, parents, even teachers, have pondered. 


As a national holiday that dates back to the very roots of our nation’s birth, it seems puzzling that less nationalistic holidays, such as Christmas, would chance upon stealing the spotlight. In other words, Thanksgiving is completely underrated.


Dated for the last Thursday of November, Thanksgiving is a time of gratitude. It is a time to show appreciation for parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, friends and more. The list is endless. Yet giving thanks makes up only half of the national holiday.


The other 50 percent is filled to the brim with food and food and more food. Whether that is mashed potatoes, turkey or pie, I guarantee that most can recall feasting on a variety of dishes until their stomachs beg for no more. Buzzfeed admits that Thanksgiving does not receive recognition for its blessing of “a whole week off from school just to prepare you to eat.”


However, a week is by no means long enough


Sure, Thanksgiving is only one day. Why have multiple weeks off for a 24-hour holiday? 


It is because the advocacy for longer breaks goes beyond just the holiday itself.


We have all heard the statistic that the average student receives roughly six to seven hours of sleep per night when they should be receiving at least eight. The reason lies in both their struggles with time management and the fact that school is sometimes too much to handle. Going to school puts one’s life on a constant, never-ending loop, almost as if one is trapped in experiencing the same day over and over again. For most, that same day is filled almost completely with stress.


Another week of Thanksgiving break could relieve some of that tension.


An empty school campus during Thanksgiving break. (Photo Courtesy of Creative Commons)

According to The George Washington Hatchet, a lengthier break can “give students more time to relax before finals.” A little gift we all need.


That includes teachers. The Miami Herald advocates for instructors as it evaluates both the blessings and deleterious effects of lengthier breaks. 


Teachers need a break too,” Journalist Laurie Futterman said. “They also feel that two months away from the classroom is essential for their own reflection and rejuvenation — two months without being around children for seven hours every day and spending their evenings deep in grading or lesson planning.”


When school responsibilities are briefly lifted from the minds of both teachers and students, the efficacious results are undeniable. 


Giving students a chance to relax after dealing with task after task helps their mental health. As a student, I can say from personal experience that a week of break goes by in a minute – especially with impending tests piled on top of assigned homework. But multiple weeks off? It adds some length to one’s relaxation, allowing us to pursue other stress-relieving interests. Interests that we are passionate about.


So longer breaks?


That is a yes from me.


Now it is up to the district to decide.


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