Thanksgiving. The word brings to mind a number of images: Pilgrims and Indians sharing in a feast and celebrating the bountiful harvest, New York City’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with its festive floats and balloons, picturesque fall landscapes, and excited fans cheering at football games.
However, the image we conjure up most at the mention of Thanksgiving is a big holiday feast, with a turkey and all the trimmings, and family gathered around a dining room table, talking, laughing and sharing stories.
This may be the quintessential American Thanksgiving dinner, but does everyone celebrate this way? Many families have a Thanksgiving feast, but also integrate traditions of their own to make their holiday celebration special and unique.
Aside from the huge meal, sports are a part of many Thanksgiving Day celebrations. “Thanksgiving is a lazy day for the guys in my family,” freshman Stanley Lukaszewicz said. “We sit around and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and after that, we watch the football game.”
Sophomore Darrah Black said that her family also integrates sports into their holiday. “After dinner, all the guys play baseball while the girls sit together and eat leftovers and talk.”
For some people, the holiday involves traveling. “Every year we go to Ohio to see my father’s family,” sophomore Amy Schaefer said, who lives in upstate New York.
Of course, food is also an essential part of Thanksgiving. Some families add a twist to the traditional Thanksgiving foods to make their own traditions. At Black’s family Thanksgiving dinner, “Everyone brings their own dessert and we all have to guess who brought each dessert. My grandma is the only one who knows what each person has brought.”
Sophomore Nicole Belk says her family cooks their Thanksgiving turkey in an unconventional way.
“We have deep-fried turkey for Thanksgiving,” Belk said. “We all stand around while it’s frying.”
A big part of Thanksgiving, and perhaps the most important, is being able to spend time with family. This, however, is not a positive thing for everyone. “Every Thanksgiving, I go to my grandmother’s house, and I always have an awful time,” sophomore Lauren Franco said. “I love my family, just not having all of them together at the same time.”
Still, Thanksgiving is a time for spending with loved ones, sharing a big meal, and sitting around the table talking for hours. This is precisely what many of us, including sophomore Sarah Nee, do on Thanksgiving. “We sit around a large table packed with food, stuff our faces and laugh about the years gone by,” Nee said.