Giving Thanks for Thanksgiving

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Abigail Baltich
Popular grocery store, Giant store sets out Thanksgiving and Fall decorations for the upcoming holiday. Grocery’s stores have been the attention for its decorations since it’s creation in 1863.

Forgotten between Halloween and Christmas lies every food lovers favorite holiday. Celebrated on every fourth Thursday of November, Thanksgiving is a holiday usually overlooked by its neighboring events. However, it is an important holiday to celebrate with its special meaning behind it. “I think Thanksgiving a really good holiday but I think it’s often ignored and forgotten, even though it shouldn’t be because it’s a good holiday that deals with being thankful for what you have,” said eighth grader Sara Templeton.  

Thanksgiving is celebrated by most families in the US and Canada, along with Liberia and some of the Caribbean islands. It’s been celebrated as a federal holiday ever since 1863. Contrary to popular belief the Pilgrims and Native Americans founded the holiday. But it only became a federal holiday during the American Civil War, when President Abraham Lincoln declared that the last Thursday of November will be a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens”.

Nowadays the whole holiday isn’t about giving “Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens”. The holiday is about being thankful for your loved ones. Traveling far and wide to visit friends and family during Thanksgiving is as much as a tradition as having a turkey for some. “Every year I go to California to see my cousin for a week and a half,” said sixth grader Jacob Drever.

Abigail Baltich
Giant sells turkeys for the upcoming festivities.  Turkey has been a central part of the Thanksgiving meal since its inception.

Food is something everyone associates with Thanksgiving for obvious reasons. For most their Thanksgiving dinner consist with what most people would categorized as traditional Thanksgiving foods like turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and pie. Though for some, their culture or their families personal preference plays a big part in their Thanksgiving dinner. “We eat challah because I’m Jewish and we celebrate Hanukkah with Thanksgiving. So we eat challah, matzo, and we obviously eat chicken, stuffing, steak, ham, and salads,” said Drever.

Michael Loccisano
Today Show Announcer Al Roker cutting of the ribbon to kick off the 2017 Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. In 2018 the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade will celebrate it’s 91st anniversary.

Families usually have special traditions they celebrate during Thanksgiving, such as watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, football, and spending time with loved ones. “We [My family and I] watch the Macy’s parade. Usually my brother and my dad and the guys watch the football game and all the ladies will watch the Macy parade,” said sixth grader Jaiyda Felton.

Some people spend the holiday by helping out people in need. “Thanksgiving is a time to spend with friends and family for most, but for some it’s a chance to give back to those less fortunate than themselves. As a family, we usually go to the Mission in DC and help pass out food and talk to people. The Mission’s purpose is to help homeless people out, so we just go and help support people there,” said eighth grader Anne Treadwell.  

Even though Thanksgiving may not be as popular as other holidays, it does have a special importance in families across the world. Reuniting people with their loved ones for one night to enjoy a meal and each other’s company. Thanksgiving may no have the appeal of candy or presents but it has been celebrated and relished by families for years and will be for years to come.