Tasty Turkey and Tacky Traditions

Nicole Czyz, Opinions/Reviews Editor
December 2, 2011
Filed under Features

Thanksgiving brings a time for food, fun, family, and friends. Traditions and celebrations bring people together, and that is what makes this holiday special. Many families have their own unique traditions; however, there are also many classic traditions that other families celebrate. No one would have guessed that Thanksgiving started with growing crops.
On November 1, 1777, the first National Thanksgiving Proclamation was made and signed by the President of Continental Congress, Henry Laurens. This originated when people began to have feasts and celebrations after harvest crops were gathered in November. Although the holiday is now celebrated in November, this was not always so. In fact, the first president of the United States, George Washington, declared a National Thanksgiving Day on February 19, 1795, but it was not celebrated every year. It was only that specific day that pertained to Thanksgiving. The next time Thanksgiving was celebrated was when Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that there would be a day set aside every year to give thanks. Lincoln changed the date to October 3, which was the first time it was celebrated annually.
Thanksgiving is a time of the year when people come together to celebrate the lives of one another and be thankful for everything that they have. From tasty turkey to tacky traditions, this time of year can be one of the most heartwarming of all. Friendships grow stronger and family grows closer. People realize how truly lucky they are to have the things that they have. Thanksgiving is a refresher in the sense that it brings back the gratefulness and love for one another that may have gradually diminished throughout the busy year.

For many families, Thanksgiving is about enjoying many traditions for all ages. First of all, a nation-wide tradition consists of a large dinner with the whole family. Grandmothers, grandfathers, cousins, uncles, aunts, and more members are typically invited to the feast. Another popular tradition on Thanksgiving is the evening prayer before dinner. Family and friends will join hands and one person may say a prayer to bless the food and give thanks to God. Out of the many Thanksgiving traditions, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade may just be one of the most popular and memorable. People all over the country gather around the television to watch the display of balloons and floats that covers the streets of New York.

Students at Bishop Gorman High School celebrate Thanksgiving with other original traditions. Max Prado (‘14) celebrates Thanksgiving with his family every year, and they have an annual tradition, one that has been around for many years. “Every year, two people in the family break the wishbone in the turkey. Whoever breaks the bigger half gets to make a wish,” said Prado. Thanksgiving is one of his favorite times of the year for a lot of reasons. Prado loves the quality family time and he thinks it is a great way for family and friends to share their love for one another.
Alex Neal (‘15) and her family celebrates Thanksgiving in a slightly different way. “Every year, my mom and dad have a cook off to see who can create the best Thanksgiving food. Surprisingly, my dad always wins!” said Neal. This tradition is most likely not as common among American families, but Neal and her family has been practicing it for many year. That is why Thanksgiving is such a special time of the year for Neal. “If our family ever gets in little quarrels, Thanksgiving is the time when amends are made, and we realize how truly thankful we are to have each other,” Neal said. Like Max Prado and Alex Neal, others around the country find ways to make Thanksgiving special with traditions that have been around in their families for generations.