Nov 18, 2008

Turkey day traditions with a twist

by Jennifer Bowman

Thanksgiving is about more than turkey, ultimately it’s about bringing people together. Some simply sit down around the dinner table for a Thanksgiving feast, while others might spend the entire week surrounding Thanksgiving celebrating. Liberty’s Reber-Thomas Dining Hall even celebrates Thanksgiving as it provides all the staple favorites for students.

Junior Mackenzie Wolfe, who will not be traveling home for Thanksgiving, recollects fond memories of Thanksgivings spent in Coral Springs, Fla.

“We usually go to the beach in the morning and stay there for a couple hours, then we go home to start cooking,” Wolfe said.
Wolfe’s family members will also go around the dinner table and individually state their gratitude and thankfulness, Wolfe said.
After eating so much, calories can pile up, and some families will end up doing something active after the feast.

“After dinner we either go for a walk or a bike ride,” Wolfe said.

The festivities for the Wolfes keep going through the evening. They waste no time starting the Christmas season early by hanging lights and decorating the tree, according to Wolfe.

“It’s pretty simple, but I love it because I am at home with my parents and my dog Zoe,” Wolfe said. No matter how simple or extravagant the celebration, being with loved ones and doing the things that matter with them makes the tradition.
Other students around Liberty celebrate the holiday with a twist. Liberty Egloff, junior and resident of Yorkville, Calif., shared a unique family tradition.

The Egloff family has a ranch and invites extended family over every year for dinner.

“Our tradition is to have a big buffet breakfast and then the kids and dads spend the early afternoon trap/skeet shooting, riding horses, hiking, etc., while the moms prepare the evening meal,” Egloff stated. “At the dinner table, my dad reads a Thanksgiving story and my mom hands out seeds to everyone — we use these seeds to represent the various things in our lives that we are thankful for.”

Family members then go around and share with each other things they are thankful for. Egloff also said she also feels it is a great way to ponder the good things they have received individually and as a family.

Local students and their families, such as senior Krystle Carey, will be traveling away from home this year, but traditions always follow them.

“My Thanksgiving is where my family gets together and the daughters help my mom fix the food,” Carey said. “We all eat the traditional turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese for lunch.”

"The families talk and hang out after being stuffed with delicious food," according to Carey.

“That is Thanksgiving with my family, and I love it,” Carey said.

Finally, Laura Elliot is also a junior and resident of Schenectady, N.Y. Elliot’s family has a unique tradition, which she shared.
“My family regularly travels to a house where we rent the beach for Thanksgiving because we don’t like the cold,” Elliot said. “A week in Florida is tons of fun, and we really love getting to spend time with each other.”

The Elliotts have a favored tradition they like to call the “Thankful Box.” This is where they take a small box and decorate it festively and over the entire month of November, they fill the box with slips of paper detailing things they are grateful for, Elliot said.

“On Thanksgiving morning, we open the box and read all the papers, so we can be reminded of how blessed we are,” Elliott said.

“Then we sing hymns and thank God for all his mercies.”

The Elliotts have a different tradition as opposed to the Wolfes, Careys and Egloffs. However, they all seem to have one common goal — to thank God for the things he has blessed them with.

No matter what the tradition, it is always the time spent with family and loved ones that makes the difference. It is not how you spend the holiday, rather, the people it is spent with that matter. Sometimes, the best way to celebrate is not by eating and participating in festivities but focusing on what is meaningful to each individual — revealing the true meaning of the Thanksgiving holiday.

 


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