Thanksgiving for Beginners


Hadley West , Opinions Editor

Thanksgiving: one of the most important festivities of American history and culture is getting closer. But if Thanksgiving brings no thoughts or images to your mind aside from large turkeys on dinner tables, I understand your experiences. 

For me, Thanksgiving meals are probably comparable to an average Sunday lunch at my grandma’s house in Italy, and the cult of being grateful is unfortunately unknown in my country. 

Therefore, not a fine connoisseur, I thought it was important for everyone new here, like me, to understand and celebrate this important holiday like a true American. 

The tradition started many years ago, in 1621, when the Plymouth colonists and the Native American tribe of Wampanoag shared an autumn harvest feast. Today it is celebrated annually as Thanksgiving Day. 

“It is a celebration of our American history, which is getting a bounty for the pioneers that came to the pilgrims,” LHS US History teacher Rick Anderson said.

So, at this point, you may wonder: “How do people celebrate Thanksgiving nowadays?” Don’t worry. Mr. Anderson has the answer for you.

“For us, it is a family celebration, and it revolves around the meal. Everyone tries to get back together,  be grateful to see each other, sit down, and have a good meal in memory of that shared harvest,” Anderson said. 

I would say that it is pretty much like Christmas, but without the stress of thinking about a present for every single grandparent, brother, cousin, aunt, and uncle in your family. The only thing that can be stressful is cooking for many people, LHS senior Alexis Miller described.

The menu of the first Thanksgiving was the result of the pilgrims’ harvests and hunts: turkeys, lobsters, onions, carrots, beans, venison, pigeons, and swans.

Don’t be scared. Today, everything is easily accessible in grocery stores, and deer and swans have slowly disappeared from the Thanksgiving menu. 

Hannah Brower’s family enjoys sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, and of course, turkey. 

Junior Micah Minix’s family each year incorporates food from a different culture into their Thanksgiving feast. 

“I eat lots of food with my family, but for me, it differs because my mother is Indian, so we eat very different foods that range from curry to crab,” Minix said.

What differentiates the Thanksgiving of each family is surely their traditions. Every house seems to have or do something that is unique.

After a long day of feasting, you’ll probably feel tired and sick because you’ve eaten too much food.  

According to Minix, cleaning up the food is the worst part of Thanksgiving. 

However, this celebration seems to be one of the most loved and appreciated festivities. Thanksgiving is truly a glorious day.