Jacqueline Lemp, E23 Staffer

Photo sourced from pixeliv.com, labelled for reuse.

Now we all know from history class how Thanksgiving started. In 1621, Protestant settlers and Native Americans had a harvest gathering. It happened in Plymouth Colony, which is now known as the state of Massachusetts. During that time they had a lot to be grateful for, and the tradition has continued on throughout the years.

The commemorative event wasn’t declared a national day until more than 200 years later by President Abraham Lincoln. Later in 1941, Congress declared that Thanksgiving was an official holiday.

Honestly, what’s not to love about Thanksgiving? Everyone gets a break from school. There is a ton of food. And the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is on television every single year. It’s a great holiday that has many traditions.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Tradition began in 1934. Every year, over 3 million people attend the parade in New York City. Over 50 million watch the parade on television across the country. Even if people can’t make it all the way to New York for the parade, they always have the opportunity to view it in the comfort of their own home.

Every year, my family gets together for the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s a pretty big deal. My mom is the youngest of 10 siblings. Her brothers and sisters live all over the country, and Thanksgiving is the one time of the year where they all come back to St. Louis. They come in from Maryland, Colorado, California and even Alaska.

I’ve always enjoyed Thanksgiving, but I appreciate it even more that I’m older. I love being able to get together with my aunts, uncles and cousins, even though there’s a lot of us. If we didn’t have our Thanksgiving gathering, I could honestly say that I wouldn’t be as close to some of my cousins as I am now.

We always play games together throughout the day. There are never ending rounds of Monopoly or Risk. Plus we usually find time to play football outside, sometimes even if there’s snow on the ground.

Let’s not forget about all the great food. Everyone can agree that eating till you’re stuffed is completely worth it when you have turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. Since there are so many of us at my Thanksgiving gathering, each family brings a large portion of an entree or side dish. Every year, my dad goes to the store and buys all the ingredients he needs for a large batch of green bean casserole.

There can be times when Thanksgiving can get a little rough. Politics and religion debates always come up between my uncles every year. They always ask questions and find ways to start arguments which don’t always end well. But even though it can be a pain, Thanksgiving is kind of a reminder to be grateful for everyone. Even if they’re trying to stir up trouble and ruffle some feathers, they all are family and have good hearts. Everyone has their disagreements, but sticking through them and continuing to come together every year is what matters most.

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