Orginiating as a harvest festival in the late 1700s, Thanksgiving symbolizes a day of giving thanks and indulging in food. While some families tend to adhere to the cookie cutter form of celebration, including meals with dishes such as turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing, others choose alternative ways to commemorate the day.
Various factors contribute to the ways that different families celebrate Thanksgiving, such as religion. While the historical roots behind the holiday are not primarily religious or cultural, families like that of junior Samual Claassen celebrate with a religious influence.
“In my family, we gather together and thank God for all of the blessings he has given us,” Claassen said. “We focus on family and friends and blessings.”
In addition, family structure also plays a part in the format of celebration. Divorced parents affect a portion of students, including freshman Brilee Davis.
“Me and my siblings spend half of the day with our mother and her family, then when its darker we go to our father’s house and stay with him for the night,” Davis said. “It’s fun but stressful.”
In way of incorporating their culture into the day, senior Tzitskiki Romero-Griffis’ family satiates in dishes that differ from the typical meal and reference their Mexican roots.
“We have tamales because when my dad lived in Mexico he always made tamales for Thanksgiving,” Romero-Griffis said. “We make them because it’s our tradition and we want to keep it going.”
For senior Priscilla Araujo, Thanksgiving is merely a day to enjoy time with her loved ones. Instead of the ‘traditional Thanksgiving meal’, following the divorce of her parents, she and her father opted for alternative methods of celebration.
“When we had our first Thanksgiving together we realized we didn’t know how to cook the traditional meal. We decided Cracker Barrel and going to the movies for our new tradition. We eat, see a movie, do some Black Friday shopping, go home and eat a store bought pumpkin pie,” Davis said. “That’s always been our Thanksgiving and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s the day we’re thankful to be together.”