Thanksgiving: Time for traditions

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and with it the yearly chaos of friends, family, traditions and turkey. However, not everyone will be celebrating in a traditional way this holiday.

Allison Ledbetter, a transfer sophomore, goes with her family to a friend’s house for a multicultural Thanksgiving. The family friends are from Africa but come from an Indian background. Ledbetter remarks that some traditional food is served, but the Indian food is always better.

Some people are celebrating Thanksgiving in a very traditional way, like Michael Butsick, a transfer junior from the University of Pittsburgh. Butsick celebrates with his immediate family, who all come home for Thanksgiving. His traditions normally involve eating with his family and taking a nap.

First-year Jamie Schwartz celebrates Thanksgiving in a big way. She goes to two meals, one with her mother’s extended family and another with her father’s extended family. These reunions involve between 10 and 60 people, including her 99-year-old great grandma, who she calls Nan. The celebrations include lots of food and watching football, which Schwartz’s family loves.

Writing down notes of thankfulness is a part of sophomore Carissa Powell’s family traditions. After she has dinner with just a few extended family members, Powell sometimes goes to the bigger extended family reunion, which involves upwards of 100 people for dessert. Powell’s family makes it a tradition to bring someone to Thanksgiving dinner who might not have a place or family with whom to celebrate. “We bring a new person every year,” Powell remarks.

Some others celebrate Thanksgiving by volunteering at a soup kitchen or shelter. Some bring food to those who do not have any. Everyone has a different way of giving thanks at this time of year.

My own family traditions have been slowly changing as myself and my siblings have grown older. This year, my brother will come home from his first year at college, and my sister and I will be sharing a bedroom. Early in the morning, I will wake up to the smells of my mom and dad creating a Thanksgiving feast. My grandparents will join us in the afternoon, along with aunts, uncles, and cousins, and pies, salads and desserts. Our small house will be filled with loud and loving talk and laughter. I will sit at the table and know, in those very few minutes of prayer before the meal, that I am thankful for so many things but mostly for the loving family surrounding me. I am blessed. We are blessed.

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