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Thanksgiving Columns: Charlie Brown and the spirit of gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving from The Circuit staff! Instead of telling you these stories around the dinner table, we decided to write about them. Enjoy columns, opinions and stories related to the Thanksgiving holiday from our entire staff.

We are incredibly thankful for your support of The Circuit this entire semester and look forward to telling more stories in the future.


A Blockhead’s Thanksgiving 

By Riley Funk

Ever since I could remember, our family has had a tradition of watching the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving episode. We had a rule in our house that the only time we could watch it was from November 1st until Thanksgiving; any violation of those rules would be considered capital punishment for my sister and I.  

When I was a kid, I would watch this once a day with my sister. I could read the dialogue each character spoke word for word and bar for bar. As the years have flown by, the memory has faded into dim light. Now we indulge ourselves once a year into pure nostalgia.  

In the Thanksgiving episode, Peppermint Patty’s inner rage comes out when she asks, “What blockhead cooked all of this?” She was referring to the unorthodox meal that Charlie Brown prepared with Linus and Snoopy, which included a piece of toast and popcorn.   

The word “blockhead” is defined simply as, a stupid person. There have been times in my life that I have been a stupid person and done stupid things, like that one time I walked out of my apartment this year without my mask on….. 

What can we learn from this? While the usual Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie, we must not forget the true meaning of Thanksgiving.  

The Mayflower voyagers traveled to the New England area with hope for a better life, only to find the challenges of disease, starvation, and trying to survive in the wilderness. And then, a miracle. Natives in the area helped these pilgrims prosper, gave them hope when there was none.  

This is just a SparkNotes version of the real story. The point is that Thanksgiving is more than just the food, while being stuffed and set into a food coma isn’t something to complain about.  

In 2020, like the Pilgrims, we are faced with the disease of COVID-19. We are facing a temporary but trying reality at this point of our lives. This shouldn’t stop us from being thankful.  

This Thanksgiving, let us be thankful for the little things, like the leftovers you will have for weeks due to the family over preparing for guests, or the little traditions your family celebrates at home.  

I am thankful for that blockhead Charlie Brown; he has taught me more about life in 30 minutes than the Common Core or General Education requirements taught me in a year. 

Without further adieu, I am going to sit back and watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving with some popcorn. SHHHHHHHHHH, be quiet, its starting! 


Can Thanksgiving be Cancelled? 

By Chiara Sullivan 

Many of us surely wonder what Thanksgiving will be like this tragic year of 2020. In Chicago, we are urged to “cancel” the holiday out of fear, and lock ourselves in our homes, faces covered and hearts filled with anxiety.  But for some of us this may be the last holiday we have with some of our family members. It is an opportunity to come together with loved ones and remember those who have passed and be grateful for those still with us. 

2020 has not been an ideal year for anyone, but perhaps we can take what we have lost and be more grateful for what we have. Thanksgiving isn’t about the golden-brown turkey waiting to be savored, the flaky delicate pie begging to be eaten, or the feeling of having gained all the weight we lost after the New Year’s resolutions (yes, last year). Deep down most of us know this, but this year especially we need to remember to have a spirit of gratitude. 

A holiday centered around giving thanks cannot be “cancelled,, because our hearts are what make Thanksgiving what it is. Our hearts are where the holiday lies, and our spirits are lifted when our hearts give thanks. Not all of us this year or perhaps even next year can spend it with others, but we can still give thanks as our fellow Americans across the country do the same. Let us lift our hearts together to the one who gave them to us and raise our downtrodden spirits from this difficult year to the Lord. 


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