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Thanksgiving Traditions: The New and Old

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Juliana Manley
“A Picture of a Pumpkin Patch” at Bob’s Corn and Pumpkin Farm (Juliana Manley)

From eating hearty food to watching American Football games, Thanksgiving is a time of being with family and friends to celebrate what you are thankful for. However, this can look very different for families across the United States of America. In this article, we will be looking at the most common and unique traditions during Thanksgiving time.

Thanksgiving is usually the forgotten holiday in all the hustle and bustle of the winter season. However, Thanksgiving is the holiday that brings families together for good food and traditions. Traditions are at the heart of Thanksgiving, since it is a way to commemorate families and their shared history. However, one of the non-family-oriented traditions around Thanksgiving time is Black Friday. The saying “Shop til you Drop” was likely coined from this day, since worldwide manufacturers have their biggest sales and deals on this day. Shops and malls are filled with zealous people who have waited all year for the best bargains. Even if you are not brave enough to venture into the malls, you can still find some of the best deals shops have to offer online. Even though Black Friday isn’t an official holiday, it is considered one for how crazy people are on this day and the lengths people are willing to go to for a good deal.

Since Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate what you are grateful for in your life, people also find solace in this historic holiday by giving back to their communities. Throughout communities, it’s very common for people to organize food drives and donate to support the less fortunate. This can be seen as a way for people from all backgrounds to enjoy the holiday. Ways to aid others during the holidays can range from organizing a fundraiser to just helping out at your local soup kitchen. These are thoughtful ways to repay others for their hard work throughout the year and give back to local charities and fundraisers.

While Thanksgiving is a time to be with those you are grateful for, there is another group of people that can be very important in your life: your friends. Friendsgiving is a way to celebrate your long-lasting bonds and relationships with friends. This is a great way to revisit friends’ history with each other, and even though you may not be related by blood, they’re as close to family as they can get. Friends can be very powerful influences in your life and help you get through thick and thin. It’s important to celebrate with them and thank them for all they have done. Friends can even be seen as the family you choose since these are the people that you share strong bonds with based on life experiences. This event can be a great way to spend time together with the ones you care about with good food and fun activities.

Now, even though everyone’s Thanksgiving is unique and different from each other, there is one aspect that is always the same: Quality food. While every family has different dishes on Thanksgiving day, it’s normally some of the best food you will have that year. The classic Thanksgiving cuisine normally consists of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. People also have a unique assortment that they combine with others to tailor to their perfect meal. For example, while it is common for people to have home-cooked meals, others prefer something as simple as Chinese takeout. Families also often fine-tune the meals to adhere to their culture and personal taste. An example of this is that while most families gorge on turkey others can prefer other kinds of meat like ham or steak.  Most people will agree that food is at the heart of Thanksgiving, another factor that is equally as delicious is the leftovers from this holiday. The day after, people normally find unique and clever ways to incorporate the remaining foods into equally delicious meals. Over the years people have seemingly gotten more and more creative in reusing Thanksgiving cuisine. Instances of this are, Mashed Potato Pizza, Leftover Stuffing Waffles, Turkey and Stuffing Reubens, Turkey Bolognese, Turkey Pot Pie, and so many more! This itself is part of Thanksgiving culture, I even know an assortment of people who enjoy the leftovers more than the meal itself! 

There are many different aspects of Thanksgiving that families all celebrate differently. Everyone views Thanksgiving differently since it is celebrated in many different ways. The part of this holiday however that remains the same is that it brings family and friends together for a good meal.

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About the Contributor
Juliana Manley, Journalist
Hi, my name is Juliana I love writing about new upcoming topics that are important to my generation and also writing about topics that could one day impact our future. Some things that I like to do in my free time are playing tennis, baking, reading new books, and hanging out with friends. My favorite season is fall and my favorite holiday is Halloween because of how rainy and cozy it can be. I look forward to writing interesting pieces and reading other's articles. Thanks for reading!

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