This feature describes the differences between Thanksgiving Day, as it is observed in USA, and Christmas.
Thanksgiving is famous for its hearty turkey dinners and the joy of not giving away any presents while Christmas is famous for its festive spirit, Santa Claus and exchange of presents. Oh yes, both are holidays too. So, is that all the differences there are? Nope, there are many other differences between Christmas and Thanksgiving and here they are:
History and Celebration date
Thanksgiving is a traditional festival that is held after a good harvest. The intention is to thank the almighty for a good harvest. It is a festival in which community members celebrate and make merry after putting in hard work. It happened like this: The Native American Indians had always celebrated the completion of a harvest season. Now, the Europeans arrived in USA and brought with them their own post-harvest rituals. These European rituals celebrated a safe voyage, a good harvest and peace. The rituals of the Native American Indians and the Europe somehow rolled into one big day, which is called Thanksgiving. The first recorded Thanksgiving celebration (it was not called Thanksgiving then) took place in 1621 in Plymouth (Massachusetts). It was Abraham Lincoln who proclaimed Thanksgiving Day in 1863.
The term Christmas is a combination of Christ’s Mass. Christmas Day celebrates the birth of Jesus. Though the exact birth date of Jesus is not known, it is estimated that Jesus was born between 7 BC and 2 BC, which is a very wide guesstimate. The Christmas date is exactly 9 months after Jesus was believed to have been conceived. It is also the date of the Roman Winter Solstice. Christmas is also famous for its association with a mythical figure – Santa Claus or Saint Nicholas or Father Christmas – who brings gifts for children.
Thanksgiving is celebrated on the 4th Thursday of November, every year. Christmas is celebrated on 25th December, every year.
What do people do on Thanksgiving and Christmas Days?
Thanksgiving Day is a day when families and friends come together for a very special Thanksgiving meal. The typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, potatoes, turkey stuffing, pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, and vegetables. People thank the creator and say the customary “Grace” before eating. Thanksgiving kicks off the Christmas shopping season. As Thanksgiving is celebrated on a Thursday, it also opens up a big 4-day weekend that is used for trips.
Christmas is a very festive day full of bonhomie and cheer. People send cards, give gifts, decorate homes, partake in church celebrations, shop for goodies, buy Christmas trees and decorate these with mistletoe, garlands, holly, and more. People visit relations and friends along with their families. Parties are thrown and in general, a great time is had by all. Once upon a time, kids believed that Santa Claus brought them gifts and got into their homes through the chimney and then placed their gifts near the Christmas tree. Actually, parents were the actual gift-bringers. However, with the passage of time many kids do not believe in the Santa Claus gift-bringing theory. They love the character though.
Christmas is celebrated by Christians and some non-Christians around the world and it spells good tidings for retailers who experience a significant jump in revenues around Christmas.