Thanksgiving dinner

Another year existing during a global health crisis is coming to an end and seeing family on Thanksgiving means more when things are difficult. Gathering can bring back memories of good times, especially those pre-pandemic. 

The entertainment section has had a rough semester, a sentiment shared by many. Starting with a hurricane and never stopping, a few writers have taken a moment to slow down and share near and dear memories. We hope these moments can bring a smile to your face following your Thanksgiving meal and ultimately lead to a December that is deserving of its "most wonderful time of the year" title.

Katie Dixon

Thanksgiving is my favorite time of year. By this point in the semester, I am desperately homesick and in need of a break before finals week. My favorite Thanksgiving moment is from my first year in college. I was having trouble transitioning from living at home to the dorm and I just kept thinking how badly I needed a hug from my family.

That year, we went camping at a horse ranch for Thanksgiving break in memory of my brother. We rode horses deep into the woods and laid out a picnic. The moment we were all eating on the ground while surrounded by trees has been my favorite moment to this day. The only thing on my mind that day was how grateful I was for these people in my life.

Olivia Deffes

My favorite Thanksgiving memory/tradition is the turkey hat. I bought this turkey hat one year in the Target dollar section because it reminded me of that one episode of “Friends,” and I try to bring it to every Thanksgiving meal. I make my pawpaw wear it while he carves the turkey. Everyone thinks it’s ridiculous at first, but eventually, everyone wants a turn to wear it. It makes for great memories and even better pictures. I recommend getting a $5 turkey hat for your Thanksgiving festivities.

Connor McLaughlin

Thanksgiving has never been my favorite holiday. It rests in between the fun times of Halloween and the rush and excitement of Christmas. To me, it just feels like an appetizer of the festive, relaxing vibes of Christmas break. However, Thanksgiving has always been a most memorable holiday.

Since I was a kid, my family has always hosted Thanksgiving lunch. Never Thanksgiving dinner. We like to eat early, visit with each other until sunset, then hit the hay early before the inevitable end of the day. My mom prepares the turkey and mashed potatoes. My grandmother brings a casserole and rice dressing. My aunts are on dessert duty. My cousins always buy rolls and make macaroni and cheese. My father, grandfather, brother, and I are just happy to be there.

It’s a tradition we still continue today.

One of my fondest memories of Thanksgiving includes when my dad lit a fire in the fireplace of our new house, only for it to result in a (contained) explosion. That really set the mood for the day.

The time my grandparents surprised us by bringing their new puppy to our house was a sweet, less fiery moment.

Also, whenever my brother and I narrowly escaped having to eat my mom’s Brussel sprouts by splitting them into our napkins while right next to her will never slip my mind. Sorry mom, they just suck.

My favorite memory of Thanksgiving will always be when I was fifteen and we went around the table saying what we were thankful for. When it was my dad’s turn, he simply said, “Right here, now.” I don’t know why that resonates with me still, but the simplicity and sincerity are indicative of what Thanksgiving is all about.

Be present and thankful to be around the ones you love.

Gideon Fortune

I'm not American so Thanksgiving has never meant much to me but coming from generations of great cooks, I look for any reason to eat. The traditions and foods at my Thanksgiving look different from most but the constant is family. For the same reason we have great cooks, our family does not always get along. Tradition is important. Diverging from what is known is unacceptable. 

After finally moving back to New York in 2020, we would have my entire immediate family at the same table for the first time in a while. Also in attendance was my older sibling's same-sex partner, something I never thought I'd see. This holiday has become something different for me now. It is a benchmark where I can judge how far we've come as we grow older and work towards peaceful coexistence. A lot of people we loved are not here anymore. Everyone says it, but I do hope we can appreciate everything to the fullest while we still can.

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