Favorite Thanksgiving traditions


Graphic by Jade Williams

Thanksgiving is less than a week away, and as students, our main focus is on that sweet, week-long break from classes. Thanksgiving break itself is quite the treat after a long, strenuous fall semester. 

When we get past the initial thrill of the idea of those five class-free days, we can start brainstorming how we intend to spend that coveted downtime, apart from the incredible naps we will all undoubtedly be taking. 

I personally feel like Thanksgiving break is best spent with friends or family—the people you hold closest to your heart. 

For one, there is nothing quite like preparing a meal with loved ones. I have spent a few late nights in the kitchen with my mom and sister, trying to tackle tasks such as pre-assembling casseroles and baking desserts. These experiences are always full of love and laughs, regardless of the inevitable petty arguments. 

Maybe you’re baking a pie with your mom, decorating cookies with your sister or helping your grandma peel potatoes—it’s all good and wholesome quality time. Preparation for a big meal with family can always be enjoyable. 

“Friendsgiving” is also a growing trend. Many people, in addition to Thanksgiving meals with family, like to celebrate with friends. Each person has an assigned food or vague food category and everyone comes together in celebration of life and friendship. Think of it as a fun, informal potluck version of Thanksgiving dinner. 

Friendsgiving can also serve as a more traditional Thanksgiving dinner for people who cannot travel home for the holiday or those who aren’t close to their biological families. After all, family does not always have to be related by blood. The love between individuals in deep and meaningful friendships can be enough to sustain someone during an otherwise lonely holiday season. 

Another pleasant Thanksgiving activity is watching the Thanksgiving specials of different TV shows. Growing up, I always enjoyed watching A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving with my siblings and the Friends Thanksgiving episodes with my mom. Today, I really enjoy the Bob’s Burgers specials which have so far included vicious poultry terrorizing a town, Thanksgiving sabotage via turkeys left in toilets and special performances of Thanksgiving songs around the table.

The privilege of getting to spend more time with cousins and various family members is a large component of the holiday, as well. I have many memories of playing outside in the woods with my cousins and extra-competitive football games we played together back in the day. As we get older and everyone has their own obligations and responsibilities, it gets harder to gather together like we did before, but that just makes the time spent together all the more special. 

All in all, Thanksgiving should be spent enjoying the company of people who care about you. The most precious Thanksgiving memories I have include my immediate family, grandparents, cousins and dear friends. 

Over the course of the Thanksgiving holiday, it is important for us students to get that restorative relaxation time in and to make more wonderful memories with our respective loved ones. Oh, and it’s also a good time to catch up on any schoolwork or studying.