Memorable Traditions: Thanksgiving may be a Day, but its Traditions Live on for Generations

By Michael Cleverly

Thanksgiving is an American holiday that holds an important spot in the year. However, it seems to hold a less important spot with Christmas occupying people’s minds. Despite this many Thanksgiving traditions remain memorable.

“Before the Thanksgiving meal we’ll go out and play football,” said Josh Burns, a Cedarville University student and RA of Marshal 1. “After the meal we’ll settle into the living room. The people who want to take a nap lay down behind the couch, and the people who want to talk come into the main part of the living room.”

Nicole Gordon, a Cedarville University student Psychology major, talked about how her family begins preparing for Christmas in the days following Thanksgiving. The day after Thanksgiving her dad starts putting up Christmas lights and decorations. Then the next day they go to the electronics stores, like Best Buy to get good deals without having to deal with Black Friday crowds.

Gordon’s family also goes Christmas tree shopping the day after Thanksgiving. Every year they get a different tree. 

“We go out to this little Christmas tree farm,” Gordon said, “Either my dad or my brother will chop it down and my sisters and I will carry it.”

Cedarville University student and Chinese Club president, Megan Read, and her family used to get together with their friends from overseas when they were living in China. They spent time remembering the history of the first Thanksgiving. Her parents would create a trivia game about the history and her mom would read through some of the history.

They also had gatherings for their Chinese friends who became Christians to introduce them to Thanksgiving. There would be Thanksgiving food there and they would sing Thanksgiving songs and hymns. At the international school Read went to, she said the would watch “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” and the building would have Thanksgiving decorations

Different food traditions can also make the experience more memorable. Burns’ grandma makes a cranberry relish and they serve a sweet cinnamon roll and sweet potato. Gordon’s mom makes a sweet tea from the part of Africa her family used to live in. 

One thing that ties all three of these different people’s experiences together is an emphasis on thankfulness. Gordon and her family have everyone share what they’re thankful for from the whole year. Read’s family would pass around dry kernels of corn and think of things they’re thankful for. This is because of a story about the first Thanksgiving that the Pilgrims only had five kernels per person. Her father created a thankfulness tree, a tree drawn on a piece of paper, on the wall. They would write what they were thankful for on a leaf and put it on the tree.

“As we’re eating Thanksgiving dinner we’ll go around the table and thank God for the blessings He’s put in our lives,” said Burns, “ I think that’s the real spirit of Thanksgiving.”

Michael Cleverley is a junior Journalism major with an Asian Studies minor and writer for Cedars. When not studying or working on a story for Cedars he likes to write, knit and hang out with friends.

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