Thanksgiving: Traditions make the holidays special

November 22, 2018

Thanksgiving is a time for families to gather and live out their holiday traditions that have developed over many years. My family, in particular, has five main traditions that we love doing each year. However, we are notorious for tweaking our traditions every once in a while, but these have generally stayed the same for as long as I can remember.

The Food

Our Thanksgiving meal always includes turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, stuffing, rolls, black olives and pie. Typically, we have two pumpkin pies and one apple pie because not everyone in my family likes pumpkin. Every year we get into a quarrel over the “pumpkin pie eaters” eating all of the apple pie before they even touch the pumpkin pie leaving no pie for the “apple pie eaters.” This year, we finally came up with a solution to the issue. From now on we will be making two pumpkin pies and two apple pies in hopes that satisfies everyone’s Thanksgiving pie needs.

Extended Family

My family might not have as big of a celebration as other families do because there are only eight of us that gather together each year. My parents, siblings and I make up six and my grandparents come over to make it eight. Many families will have all of their aunts, uncles, cousins and great-grandparents join them as an opportunity to bring the whole family together. This is a tradition I admire and love doing each year. Even with a small family, it is such a joyful time when we can get some quality time with my grandparents.

Giving Thanks

This is a typical tradition that most families do since it is the whole purpose of the holiday. However, there are many different ways to go about this tradition. My family likes to go around the table a couple of times to individually talk about something they are thankful for once the food has been blessed and is being passed around. You can always count on someone in my family to say “this food” when it gets to their turn even though my mom will make them give another answer.


Once the food has been eaten and everyone’s so full they can barely move, we take a nap to recharge for the events that are taking place later that night. My parents hand out the catalogues, get the final draft of the Christmas lists and head out for a night of Black Friday shopping. This tradition has become less of a tradition over the years because they have discovered that Cyber Monday is a lot less hectic. In a few years, this tradition may no longer exist in my family. Other families love the craziness that comes with Black Friday shopping because they see it as more of an event.

Sibling Quality Time

When the parents are out buying our Christmas presents on the night of Thanksgiving, My brother and sisters and I spend the night taking advantage of family quality time by doing what we love most…watching a movie and playing board games. My siblings and I are notorious for doing these things so it doesn’t necessarily have to be a special occasion for us to do this. However, we also get all of the Christmas decorations out and ready to be put up for the day after Thanksgiving. We love Thanksgiving but we love the fact that Christmas is right around the corner once Thanksgiving is over even more.


Having Thanksgiving traditions makes the holiday that much more exciting. Surely, my family will develop many more traditions, as will yours.

By McKenna Stephens, staff writer 

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