What Thanksgiving Means to Me

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Thanksgiving is one of the most underrated holidays. It is sometimes lost in the mix between Halloween and Christmas. Many people skip straight from Halloween to listening to Christmas music and decorating their trees Nov. 1 and miss the best part of the fall season. 

For me, Thanksgiving is a great time to spend with family and celebrate the things we are thankful for in our lives that can be overlooked during other overly-commercialized holidays. In these difficult times of political and social unrest amidst a pandemic I think it is important to take a breath and remember the things in our lives that we are thankful for.

Some of the typical Thanksgiving traditions may be a little different this year due to COVID-19, but there are still things that everyone can enjoy during this holiday season while staying safe.

In my household, we have a tradition of watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the National Dog Show and football throughout the day. Due to the pandemic, it has been announced that the parade will be held in an altered recorded form but will still be aired on television during its normal time. The National Dog Show, as well as college and professional football games, are also still scheduled to air on Thanksgiving Day with slight alterations to account for social distancing guidelines.

While traditions like watching football on Thanksgiving are still possible to experience, some of the most important aspects of the holiday may not be possible for many during the pandemic.

Every year, my family hosts a big Thanksgiving meal at our house. We spend all day cooking, watching football and spending time with our extended family that we don’t get to see very often. This year, due to COVID-19, our big family meal is going to be held on a smaller scale with just my parents and my sister.

We might not have the complete Thanksgiving spread of food this year, but my dad still plans on roasting a turkey, and I will definitely be making a pumpkin pie. Even though I won’t get to see all of my cousins, I am still grateful to be able to spend this time with my parents and sister who I don’t get to see as often now that I am in college.

Black Friday is another one of those over-commercialized holiday events that can sometimes distract from Thanksgiving. It seems like the sales start earlier and earlier every year, so now they begin on Thanksgiving evening or even a few days before.

My family sometimes goes shopping on Black Friday, but we are not the people who get up at 5 a.m. to wait in line for stores to open. Black Friday is when I fully begin to embrace the Christmas spirit, but only after I have fully appreciated fall and Thanksgiving.

Even though the holiday season will not look quite the same this year, I am thankful for so many things in my life. Celebrating these things is what Thanksgiving is really about. I am thankful for my health, my supportive family, my amazing friends, the beautiful fall weather, good coffee and so much more. 

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