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Which is the more celebrated event – Thanksgiving or the Super Bowl? The energy and time that people put into planning their Super Bowl parties has begun to rival Thanksgiving. In fact, I’m beginning to think that for a lot of people, the first Sunday in February has a lot more going for it than the fourth Thursday in November.

The food. Anyone who tried to park at Safeway or Costco on Saturday knows that food is as much of a big deal – and maybe even a bigger deal – for the Super Bowl as it is for Thanksgiving. For one thing, as much as most people like turkey, it’s not exactly fun food. Whether you brine it, deep fry it, or barbeque it, it comes out tasting like turkey. Yawn. But for Super Bowl food, you can indulge, your food fantasy with saltiness, spicyness, chocolately-ness. Bring whatever strikes your fancy and I’m sure it will be okay with your host. And by the way, I’ll bet no one ever brings Green Bean Casserole to a Super Bowl party.

The company. Super Bowl isn’t obligatory so you can spend it with whomever you like, not just people you’re related to. Again, there’s a lot more freedom to Super Bowl. At Thanksgiving, people tend to go to Aunt So-and-so’s house just because that’s where they’ve always had Thanksgiving. But you can host a Super Bowl party one year and then never do it again; the day doesn’t have any burdensome expectations associated with it.

The conversation. The great thing about the Super Bowl is that no one has think of something to make small talk about. The game and the commercials are instantly a shared experience. Or if you don’t want to talk at all because you’re so into the game – or at least pretending to be so into the game – that’s okay too. Watching the Super Bowl with a room full of strangers isn’t all that uncomfortable but having Thanksgiving with people who you don’t know all that well, has awkward silences written all over it.

The day after. This may be the one place that Thanksgiving trumps the Super Bowl. While I’m not a Black Friday shopper, knowing that the next day is a day off of work is wonderful. However, a friend told me that she read that 6 percent of the American workforce doesn’t show up for work the day after the Super Bowl. My guess is that they’re home sleeping off the Buffalo wings and beer. Blackout Monday may yet turn out to be a national holiday.

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